Health implications of exposure to coal mine dust in workers –A Review
Major health problem for workers is prevalent in all nations due to occupational hazards. Coal mining is one of the largest and oldest industries in the world. However, no such information is available in the literature regarding the health status of coal mine workers. Coal is a basic necessity for the production of electricity and steel. Along with machines, humans are the workforce in every coal mine industry. Air pollutants and dust mixed with silica are the two major factors that affect the health of coal mine workers. Coal mine workers run the risk of getting respiratory damage due to high levels of dust and other chemical particulate matters. Some of the disorders caused by coal mines are Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease (COPD), Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP), Asthma and massive fibrosis. Prolonged exposure to coal mine dust may cause a variety of diseases like Tuberculosis, Chronic Bronchitis, Heart Diseases, Lung Cancer, Pneumonia, liver disease, kidney damage, DM and Reproductive disorders. All these diseases may be induced if mine workers are subjected to prolonged exposure. This review article highlights the outcome of research works done in the past three decades on the health implications of coal mine workers. Further studies are required with respect to the degree of damage to each organ and to prepare a set of guidelines to be followed by coal mine industries to be strictly followed to safeguard the wellbeing of coal mine workers.
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