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Trends in coal miners' exposure to coal mine dust before and after implementation of the continuous personal dust monitor and reduced exposure limit

Cox, Erin (2017) Trends in coal miners' exposure to coal mine dust before and after implementation of the continuous personal dust monitor and reduced exposure limit. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background: Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis (CWP) is a lung disease caused by overexposure to respirable coal mine dust (CMD). Since the 1990s, CWP prevalence increased. In response, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), with external partners, created the Continuous Personal Dust Monitor (CPDM), and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reduced the CMD exposure limit. Due to recent increases in CWP and regulatory changes in mining practice, it is imperative to understand miners’ current exposure.
Objectives: The primary objective of this report is to describe trends in U.S. underground coal miners’ CMD exposure during three intervals; 1) before implementation of the CPDM; 2) after CPDM implementation but before establishing a lower CMD exposure limit; 3) after both the implementation of the CPDM and lower CMD exposure limit. The secondary objective is to describe CMD exposure trends by state, mine size, and occupation title.
Methods: CMD exposure and mine data were downloaded from MSHA’s website. Data were restricted from August 1, 2015 to January 31, 2017 and divided into three six-month intervals. 111,002 CMD samples were included. Median concentration of CMD and CMD exposure limit exceedances were computed for each month and six-month interval. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to determine differences in median CMD concentrations, and the Chi-Square and Cochran-Armitage tests were used to determine differences and trends, respectively, in CMD exposure limit exceedances among the six-month intervals.
Results: Median concentrations of CMD significantly differed among the six-month intervals (p-value<0.0001), with the lowest median concentration (0.423mg/m3) observed during the first interval and the highest (0.570mg/m3) during the second interval. CMD exposure limit exceedances significantly decreased from the first to the third six-month interval (p-value<0.0001). Subgroup analyses determined significantly decreasing CMD exposure limit exceedance trends in Alabama (p-value=0.0027), Virginia (p-value=0.0255), and West Virginia (p-value<0.0001); among small (p-value=0.0022) and large mines (p-value=0.0013); and among continuous miner operators (p-value<0.0001) and roof bolters (p-value=0.0069).
Conclusion: Trends in CMD exposure limit exceedances suggest a decrease in CMD exposure after CPDM implementation. From a public health perspective, tracking trends in CMD is crucial for understanding the CPDM’s potential impact on CWP among miners.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCostacou, TinaCostacouT@edc.pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberMischler, Stevenalu7@cdc.govUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberMcWilliams, Lindazfx0@cdc.govUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 5 April 2017
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 2017
Submission Date: 4 April 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 54
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 17:45
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:45


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