A review of mortality associated with elongate mineral particle (EMP) exposure in occupational epidemiology studies of gold, talc, and taconite mining

Jeffrey H. Mandel, Bruce H. Alexander, Gurumurthy Ramachandran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background: Mining of gold, taconite, and talc may involve exposure to elongate mineral particles (EMP). The involved EMPs are typically non-asbestiform, include dimensions that regulatory definitions exclude, and have been less studied. Methods: A review of the literature was undertaken for this exposure and occupational epidemiological studies that occur in gold, talc, and taconite mining. Results: Quantitative EMP exposure information in these industries is incomplete. However, there are consistent findings of pneumoconiosis in each of these types of mining. A recent case-control study suggests a possible association between this exposure and mesothelioma. Lung cancer is inconsistently reported in these industries and is an unlikely outcome of non-asbestiform EMP exposure. There is evidence of cardiovascular mortality excess across all of these types of mining. Conclusions: Non-malignant respiratory disease and cardiovascular mortality have been consistently increased in these industries. Further investigation, including additional insights for the role of non-asbestiform EMP, is warranted. Am. J. Ind. Med. 59:1047–1060, 2016.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1060
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume59
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • elongate mineral particle
  • epidemiology
  • exposure assessment
  • gold mining
  • mining
  • non-asbestiform
  • taconite mining
  • talc mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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