A Case-Control Study to Investigate the Association between Indices of Dust Exposure and the Development of Radiologic Pneumoconiosis
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A case-control study on employees at an iron ore surface mining plant was undertaken to determine which indices of occupational dust exposure related most closely to radiologic categories for pneumoconiosis. Forty cases, with radiographs compatible with the ILO Categories (1980) for simple pneumoconiosis, were matched for age, smoking habit, and date of entry into the workforce with 80 control subjects whose radiographs were read as normal. The six indices of dust exposure were cumulative and "peak" respirable dust, quartz, and iron oxide. Both iron oxide indices were not significant at the 5% level for either ILO Category 1 or Categories 2,3. The association between dust composition and ILO radiologic category for simple pneumoconiosis was consistent, with respirable quartz being the best differentiating index between the case and control groups.
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