Korean J Occup Environ Med.  1997 Dec;9(4):589-603.

Pneumoconiosis with Workers of Manufacturing Industry in Incheon

Affiliations
  • 1Industrial Health Research Institute, Korea.
  • 2Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in Ajou University, Korea.
  • 3Institute for Occupational Health, Yonsei University, Korea.

Abstract

Most of pneumoconiosis found in Korea can be categorized in coal worker's pneumoconiosis. However, in recent years, pneumoconiosis has been frequently found in the workers of manufacturing factories. Accordingly, this study was carried out to investigate relationship of dust exposure history and development and progress of pneumoconiosis. Chest radiographs, history of dust exposure, and other data of 144 workers, who were diagnosed as suspecter pneumoconiosis (0/l) or pneumoconiosis in special health examination center in Incheon from 1986 to 1996, were reviewed. The results were as follows ; 1. According to the type of main exposure, most common type of exposure was foundry dust(93workers, 64.6%), followed by welding fume(16workers, 11.1%), talc dust, lime dust and etc. 2. Among 144 workers, the history of dust exposure was investigated in 86 workers. Mean ages of 86 workers at the present study, initial exposure to the dusts, and at the time of initial diagnosis as having pneumoconiosis were 52.1, 29.1 and 46.5 years, respectively. The mean duration of exposure was 17.3 years. 3. Comparing the type of main exposure with dust exposure history, initially exposed age of welders, foundry workers, workers exposed to coal dust and other dusts were 24.6, 30.7, 28.0 and 28.5 years, respectively. Ages at the time of diagnosis as having pneumoconiosis of welders, foundry workers, coal dust and other dusts were 41.3, 49.3, 46.4 and 44.1 years, respectively. The duration of exposure to main dust of welders, foundry workers, workers exposed to coal dust and other dusts were 16.8, 18.2, 13.3 and 11.6 years, respectively. Therefore initially exposed age was significant difference between the welders and the foundry workers (p<.05). Age which was diagnosed pneumoconiosis was significant difference between the welders, workers exposed to other dusts and the foundry workers (p<.01). And exposure duration of main dust was significant difference between the workers exposed to other dusts and foundry workers (p<.01) 4. Initially diagnosed X-ray category of the workers were category 0/l (76workers, 52.8%), 1/0 (35workers, 24.3%) Therefore, workers' pneumoconiosis of manufacturing factories was mild, relatively. And there was no significant difference between initially diagnosed X-ray category of the workers and dust exposure history. 5. Among 97 workers, who could follow up more than 1 year, 60 workers(61.9%) were not changed, 24 workers (24.7%) were progressed, 13 workers (13.4%) were improved in their initially diagnosed X-ray category. Among 11 welders, initially diagnosed X-ray category of 5 welders(45.5%) were improved and of only 1 welder was progressed. But, among 19 workers exposed to other dusts, 10 (52.6%) workers were progressed and none of them were improved. 6. Among 53 workers, who were Initially diagnosed X-ray category was 0/l, 12 workers (22.6%) were progressed and 5 workers (9.4%) were improved in their initially diagnosed X-ray category. And among 40 workers, who were initially diagnosed X-ray category was 1, 12 workers(30.0%) were progressed and 7 workers(17.5%) were improved. Above results suggest that not a few workers of manufacturing factories have pneumoconiosis and their pneumoconiosis is progressed. Therefore, we have to prepare management plan and to study epidemiologic findings of pneumoconiosis with workers of manufacturing factories.

Keyword

Pneumoconiosis; Manufacturing industry; X-ray category
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