Quartz exposure and increased respiratory symptoms among coal mine workers in Tanzania
AbstractQuartz has been an inevitable composition of different type of coal mined. The quartz exposures among coalmine workers has been attributed to activities such as cutting the adjacent rock, the roof, the floor and the intrusions.
Objective: The aim of the study is to determine the associations between quartz exposures and respiratory health in a labour intensive coal mine.
Methods: 239 randomly selected men participated in the study. A respiratory questionnaire was used, collected information and data were analysed by SPSS version 15. The criterion for significant association was 0.05 and below.
Results: Logistic regression controlling for age, smoking status and duration of employment showed a significantly increased odds ratio for breathlessness in the high exposed group (OR = 3.9 (95%CI:1.4, 10.7). In addition there were significantly increased odds ratio in the highest cumulative quartz group for cough day and night (OR:3.6), cough for four days or more in a week (OR:6.7), cough with sputum in day and night (OR:6.5) and dyspnoea (OR:10.9)(Table 4).
Conclusion: The results from this study provide important information for targeting prevention program for reducing exposure at mine workplace. Improvements in the work environment where exposures are higher than the TLV for respirable silica, ought to be performed.