Occupational pathology in workers employed at deep and surface mining of apatite ores in the Kola Zapolyarye

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S.A. Syurin, S.A. Gorbanev


North-west Public Health Research Center, 4, 2nd Sovetskaya Str., Saint Petersburg, 191036, Russian Federation


Ore mining technologies are constantly developed and improved; nonetheless, most miners employed at apatite mines in Zapolyarny regions of the Kola Peninsula run higher risks of occupational diseases (OD). The research goal was to explore peculiarities related to OD occurrence in miners employed at deep and surface apatite mines. We examined data collected within social-hygienic monitoring activities in 2007–2017, the section "Working conditions and occupational morbidity"; the data were collected for the overall Murmansk region population, there were 470 patients with OD and 749 OD cases revealed in the region over the selected time period. We detected that in case of deep mining OD (first of all, in the musculoskeletal system) occurred at a younger age and after a shorter working period due to increased labor hardness (59.6 %). As regards surface mining, labor hardness and overall vibration were the basic etiologic factors there, and OD structure was characterized with considerable fractions of diseases in the musculoskeletal system (32.7 %) and vibration disease (hand-arm vibration syndrome, 31.8 %). OD number in one worker employed at deep mines was higher than in one worker employed at surface mining (1.68 ± 0.07 and 1.49 ± 0.5, p<0.02). Workers employed at deep mines run higher risks of deforming arthrosis (RR=6.88; 95 % CI 3.21–14.74; χ2=35.7; p<0.001) and forearms myofibrosis (RR=8.11; 95 % CI 1.92–34.1; χ2=11.8; p=0.0005); workers employed at surface mining run higher risks of vibration disease (RR=1.40; 95 % CI 1.08–1.80; χ2=6.69; p=0.009) and radiculopathy (RR=1.47; 95 % CI 1.12–1.93; χ2=7.61; p=0.006). Both occupational groups have to face unfavorable working conditions mostly due to technological processes and workplaces being out-of-date. We came to a conclusion that it was necessary to create programs aimed at prevention of occupational diseases in workers employed at apatite mines in the Arctic taking into account peculiarities related to hazardous occupational impacts and accompanying adverse factors associated with the chilling environment.

apatite ores, deep and surface mining, miners, occupational pathology, the Arctic, occupational diseases, musculoskeletal system diseases, vibration disease
Syurin S.A., Gorbanyov S.A. Occupational pathology in workers employed at deep and surface mining of apatite ores in the Kola Zapolyarye. Health Risk Analysis, 2019, no. 2, pp. 101–107. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2019.2.11.eng
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