Aluminum in the lungs of Ontario hardrock miners
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The objective of this study was to determine the concentration of aluminum in the autopsied lungs of eight hardrock miners. These miners had inhaled McIntyre Powder (a mixture of aluminum and aluminum oxide) as a prophylaxis against silicosis. The study involved chemical analysis of lungs, where each whole lung was divided horizontally into three sections and analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometer equipped with a graphite furnace. The grand mean level of aluminum was found to be 476.4 µg/g of dry tissue, which is similar in the range reported for occupationally exposed groups. The effect of smoking was also examined and found to be unrelated. This study provides an estimate of retained aluminum in the lungs of Ontario hardrock miners as a result of occupational exposure to hardrock mining environment and inhalation of McIntyre Powder.
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