The underground coal mining industry plays an important role in contributing energy supplies, increased prevalence and severity of the chronic lung diseases raised concerns of occupational health. Silica and radon exposure in coal mining industry has been extensively documented1“4. A substantial body of evidence has identified crystalline silica dust and radon gas as major causes of lung cancer5“8.
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However, the inconsistent and controversial results from epidemiological studies9“11 made the evidence of silica and radon associated with lung cancer being less convincing. It can possibly be explained by the fact that non-occupational exposures such as cigarette smoking was not investigated sufficiently in many studies, and cigarette smoking ranks number one cause lung cancer (https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/). Therefore, with potentially substantial exposures to multiple carcinogens including crystalline silica dust, radon, and cigarette smoke, the further study of the risks of lung cancer and systematically measurements in the coal mining industry are needed.
Our long-term goal is to improve our understanding of exposures to, and lung cancer risks associated with, exposures to crystalline silica, radon, and cigarette smoke in the underground coal mining industry. The objectives in this proposal are: 1) improve understanding of coal miners exposures to crystalline silica, radon in the underground coal mining facilities in Webster County, Kentucky; 2) investigate the association between lung cancer and miner’s exposures to silica, radon and cigarette smoke. These two objectives will allow us to fill the gap of current studies. We hypothesize that the concentrations of silica and radon will be significant high in the underground coal mining workplace. We hypothesize that crystalline silica,
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