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Hazards in the Mining Industry (IOHA 2018 OnDemand)

Recorded at IOHA 2018

Earn 1 Contact Hour

An excess of mesothelioma has been observed in iron ore miners in Northeastern Minnesota. The 2007 mesothelioma study evaluated the association between mesothelioma, employment, and EMP exposures from taconite mining. The goal of this study is to re-evaluate this association for four size-specific EMP definitions using our updated study cohort and latest EMP job-exposure matrices. Mesothelioma cases were identified through the Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System and death certificates. Results show that all mesothelioma cases were male, and 72 of the cases had work experience in the taconite industry. Mesothelioma was weakly associated with the number of years employed in the taconite industry. No association was observed with any study-selected definition-specific cumulative EMP exposure.

There is concern in the Philippines, Indonesia, Africa, and South America related to children's employment in small scale gold mines (SSGM). About 1 million children work in SSGM. The most ethical solutions would be to ban children from mines and gold processing supply lines. However, this issue is more complex. There are risks of traumatic injury, dermatitis, diving risks, lead poisoning, mercury (Hg) intoxication, and Hg contamination. Local governments, NGOs, health providers, and mining companies must: provide funding and schooling, provide jobs to replant trees, certify that no children are involved with gold processing, seek nonHg solutions to separating gold, and ban liquid Hg. Local medical/public health schools should sponsor health studies of children who are now/were engaged in mining. We need leadership in occupational health, local government, and industrial hygiene to reduce the number of children in mining.

Stock #: IOHA_Sess7
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