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Revista de la Universidad Industrial de Santander. Salud

Print version ISSN 0121-0807


GARROTE-WILCHES, Carolina F. et al. Characterization of respiratory health conditions of workers exposed to coal dust in underground mining in Boyacá, 2013.. Rev. Univ. Ind. Santander. Salud [online]. 2014, vol.46, n.3, pp.237-247. ISSN 0121-0807.

Introduction: coal miners' pneumoconiosis is an occupational lung disease associated with individual factors and specific working conditions. It is manifested progressively and irreversibly, affecting the health of workers and labor productivity. Objective: To characterize the respiratory health conditions and identify risk factors associated with the development of pneumoconiosis in workers that have been exposed to coal dust in the underground mines at Boyacá, 2013. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among mining workers exposed to coal dust in the department of Boyacá. It was conducted a complete record of occupational medical history, physical exam, taking chest radiography, tuberculin test and spirometry. Results: 170 male workers participated. 75% of the population had worked in the mining sector for more than12.5 years old. Rhonchi, wheezing and rattling predominated in workers over 20 years old. Expectoration and cough were most frequently found in those who made mechanized extraction. 15.9% of chest X rays were compatible with pneumoconiosis, 17.1% of tuberculin tests were found positive. 5.3% of spirometries showed peripheral airway abnormalities and 2.4% showed obstructive pattern. Discussion and conclusion: Radiological changes suggestive of pneumoconiosis were more frequent in workers under 20 years old. Abnormal spirometric findings predominated in the group with more than 20 years old. It is important to review surveillance protocols and perform monitoring through occupational medicine.

Keywords : pneumoconiosis; coal mining; tuberculosis; working conditions; occupational exposure; Colombia.

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