Asthma in coal miners


Occupations
  • Miner
Agents
Moulds, Polyester resins, Rhizopus Nigricans, Styrene resins.
 
Incidence
Rare, but to date, very little research has been performed in this area.
 
Conditions
The proliferation of moulds in the mines is due to the ambient humidity. The problem of isocyanate sensitization is due to the working in the mines over several months. The closed atmosphere gives extremely favourable conditions for this sensitization.
 
A study was published in 2001, on the role of resins injected into the roofs of galleries (in order to support them) on the development of occupational asthma in miners. Nothing was proven, but it has already been recognized that these products play an irritant role due to the volatile components derived from dibenzoyl peroxide.
 
Symptoms
Rhinitis and spasmodic coryza accompanied by respiratory difficulties at the workplace.
 
Diagnostic methods
Skin test and CAP RAST are available for Rhizopus Nigricans.
 
The diagnostic is made by peak flow measurements at the workplace or a bronchial provocation test in hospital.

References

  1. Lancet 1993,341:318 - Nemry B. et al.
  2. Thorax 1996,51:867 - Gamboa P.M et al.

As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.