Assessment of cardiovascular pathology risk in miners employed at deep chrome mines
O.Yu. Ustinova 1 , E.M. Vlasova 2 , A.E. Nosov 1,2 , V.G. Kostarev 3 , T.M. Lebedeva 4
1 Perm State University, 15 Bukireva Str., Perm, 614990, Russian Federation
2 Federal Scientific Center for Medical and Preventive Health Risk Management Technologies, 82 Monastyrskaya Str., Perm, 614045, Russian Federation
3 Federal Service for Surveillance over Consumer Rights protection and Human Well-being, Perm regional office, 50 Kuybyisheva Str., Perm, 614016, Russian Federation
4 Perm State Medical University named after E.A. Wagner, 26 Petropavlovskaya Str., Perm, 614990, Russian Federation
Deep mining is widely spread in Russia; therefore, preservation of labor resources employed in the sphere is a vital task. Workers who are employed at deep chrome mines are exposed to combined effects exerted by adverse occupational factors. These factors can either be common for deep mining, or they can be related to specific natural resources. Adverse risk factors cause higher risks that not only occupational, but also production-related diseases can emerge in miners. The authors performed a complex hygienic assessment of working conditions which exist in deep chrome mines. We detected that working conditions in mines could be characterized as "hazardous" and they belonged to 3–4 hazard category due to combined negative effects exerted by physical and chemical factors of the labor process. We also performed clinical and functional examination of 135 workers employed at a chrome mine. Our focus group was made up of 88 miners; the reference group included 47 workers employed at this mine who weren't exposed to adverse factors related to chrome ores mining. All the examined workers were males, aged 30–49, with their working experience ranging from 10 to 25 years. We revealed a failure in functional activity of the endothelium in half of miners whose working experience was shorter than 10 years; and relative risk of such failure was almost 8 times higher than for workers who didn't deal with deep chrome mining. 10 % miners who had been working at the mine for more than 10 years had a substantial decrease in functional reserves of their cardio-respiratory system. Relative risk of atherosclerotic changes in vascular walls, morphological changes in the cardiac muscle and the valve apparatus was from 3.5 to 12 times higher for miners than for workers who didn't deal with deep chrome mining. We detected a direct correlation between a decrease in functional activity of the endothelium and adaptation reserves of the cardio-respiratory system and increased chrome contents in miners' blood. Periodical medical examinations of workers should include functional and morphologic research performed on the cardiovascular system as it will help to reduce morbidity with cardiovascular-pathology among miners employed at deep chrome mines and to properly implement an overall set of preventive measures.
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