A total of 143 miners, 6 ex-miners, and 42 referents from five mines in northern Ontario were examined with a cold provocation test. The skin temperatures, measured by thermocouples at the tips of the fingers and thumbs were recorded at 5-s intervals throughout the immersion in cold water (10 degrees C) for 10 min and during the recovery period. The finger skin temperature was followed until 99% recovery had occurred as compared to the starting temperature. For the referents and the vibration-exposed subjects, the results by separate stage of the Taylor-Pelmear scale for hand-arm vibration syndrome were compared. There were statistically significant differences in the mean finger temperature at the 50, 75, 90, and 95% recovery times between stages 0, 0T/0N, and stages 1 through 3 combined, as well as significant differences between stages 1, 2, and 3. The mean temperature at 10 min and the mean hyperemia temperature for eight fingers combined were compared between the miners and referents. There were significant differences in the mean temperature at 10 min and in the hyperemia temperature between the referents and miners in stage 0T/0N, as well as between the referents and the miners in stages 1 through 3 combined. For the worst finger (defined as that with the lowest temperature at 10 min) there was an increasing trend towards a lower hyperemia temperature and delay in recovery time from stage 0 to stages 2 and 3 combined.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The incidence and prevalence of subjects awarded disability pensions and the prevalence of subjects receiving free medicines because of rheumatoid arthritis were studied in a Finnish cohort of 1026 granite workers hired between 1940 and 1971 and followed up until 31 December 1981. The incidence of awards of disability pensions because of rheumatoid arthritis during 1969-81, the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis on 31 December 1981, and the prevalence of subjects receiving free medicines for rheumatoid arthritis at the end of 1981 were significantly higher among the granite workers than in the general male population of the same age. Retrospective analysis of the records of all patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the cohort showed a predominance of a severe, serologically positive and erosive form of rheumatoid arthritis, usually with an age at onset of 50 or over. The possible aetiological or pathophysiological role of granite dust in rheumatoid arthritis may be based on the effects of quartz on the immune system.
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In order to assess the radioecological situation created in the area of the location of diversified uranium mining enterprise "Priargunsky Production Mining and Chemical Association" (PIMCU) there was investigated the radioactivity of a number of the compartments of environment, both at the industrial site and beyond it, as well as the volume activity of radon inside the ground and working premises. Radioecological situation in the vicinity of the uranium mines was performed in comparison with the background (fixed reference, control) district, where there is no uranium mining. Performed studies have shown the significant excess content of 226Ra, 232Th, 210Pb, 222Rn in soil, water open water bodies and local foods near uranium mines compared to areas outside the zone of influence of uranium mining that allows to make a conclusion about the significant technogenic pollution of local areas of the plant and adjoining territory.
One of the important aspects of the data classification problem lies in making the most appropriate selection of features. The set of variables should be small and, at the same time, should provide reliable discrimination of the classes. The method for the discriminating power evaluation that enables a comparison between different sets of variables will be useful in the search for the set of variables.
A new approach to feature selection is presented. Two methods of evaluation of the data discriminating power of a feature set are suggested. Both of the methods implement self-organizing maps (SOMs) and the newly introduced exponents of the degree of data clusterization on the SOM. The first method is based on the comparison of intraclass and interclass distances on the map. Another method concerns the evaluation of the relative number of best matching unit's (BMUs) nearest neighbors of the same class. Both methods make it possible to evaluate the discriminating power of a feature set in cases when this set provides nonlinear discrimination of the classes.
Current algorithms in program code can be downloaded for free at http://mekler.narod.ru/Science/Articles_support.html, as well as the supporting data files.
An extensive and year-round survey was conducted to assess metal pollution in vast watershed areas of the Selenga River Basin (2007-2009), which provided baseline heavy metal database for the future management. Sources and environmental hazard and risk indices associated with metal pollution were evidenced across the countries of Mongolia and Russia (Buryatia Republic). In general, the concentrations of heavy metals in river water of Mongolia were greater than those of Russia, expect for the upstream of the Dzhida River in Russia. The spatial distribution generally indicated that metal pollution in the Selenga River was mainly associated with the activities in the Mongolian upstream regions. Similar pollution sources of metals between river water and wastewater associated with surrounding activities were found across the industrial and mining areas. Compositional patterns of metals suggested their sources were independent of each other, with hot spots in certain sites. Our measurements indicated that about 63 % of the locations surveyed (48 of 76) exceeded the critical heavy metal pollution index of 100, identifying possible harmful effects on aquatic ecosystems through metal pollution. Zinc was found to be the chemical of priority concern, as more than half of the locations exceeded the corresponding water quality guideline. Other metals including Mn, Fe, Cr, Cu, and As might be problematic in the Selenga River Basin considering the occurrence and their concentrations. Results of our extensive survey during the period of 3 years indicated that urgent action would be necessary in timely manner to improve water quality and mitigate the impact of heavy metals on aquatic environment of the Selenga River Basin.
Few ecotoxicological studies exist for rare earth elements (REEs), particularly field-based studies on their bioaccumulation and food web dynamics. REE mining has led to significant environmental impacts in several countries (China, Brazil, U.S.), yet little is known about the fate and transport of these contaminants of emerging concern. Northern ecosystems are potentially vulnerable to REE enrichment from prospective mining projects at high latitudes. To understand how REEs behave in remote northern food webs, we measured REE concentrations and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios (?15N, ?13C) in biota from marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems of the eastern Canadian Arctic (N = 339). Wildlife harvesting and tissue sampling was partly conducted by local hunters through a community-based monitoring project. Results show that REEs generally follow a coherent bioaccumulation pattern for sample tissues, with some anomalies for redox-sensitive elements (Ce, Eu). Highest REE concentrations were found at low trophic levels, especially in vegetation and aquatic invertebrates. Terrestrial herbivores, ringed seal, and fish had low total REE levels in muscle tissue (?REE for 15 elements
The aim of the study was to assess the influence of different working conditions on the health of 1523 copper-nickel miners of the Kola High North. The low degree of mechanization of mining operations was established to be related to more higher levels of vibration, noise and physical overloads. The working in such conditions, when compared with high mining mechanization, leads to a decrease in the number of conditionally healthy workers (12% and 20.7%, p
This cross-sectional questionnaire study was carried out at 4 open-pit mines in Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden as part of the MineHealth project. The aim has been to compare the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms between drivers of mining vehicles and non-drivers.
The mine workers were asked whether they had suffered from any musculoskeletal symptoms during the previous 12 months in specified body regions, and to grade the severity of these symptoms during the past month. They were also asked about their daily driving of mining vehicles.
The questionnaire was completed by 1323 workers (757 vehicle drivers) and the reported prevalence and severity of symptoms were highest for the lower back, followed by pain in the neck, shoulder and upper back. Drivers in the Nordic mines reported fewer symptoms than non-drivers, while for Russian mine workers the results were the opposite of that. The daily driving of mining vehicles had no significant association with the risk of symptoms. Female drivers indicated a higher prevalence of symptoms as compared to male drivers.
The study provided only weak support for the hypothesis that drivers of vehicles reported a higher prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms than non-vehicle drivers. There were marked differences in the prevalence of symptoms among workers in various enterprises, even though the nature of the job tasks was similar. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2017;30(4):553-564.
The richest uranium ore bodies ever discovered (Cigar Lake and McArthur River) are presently under development in northeastern Saskatchewan. This subarctic region is also home to several operating uranium mines and aboriginal communities, partly dependent upon caribou for subsistence. Because of concerns over mining impacts and the efficient transfer of airborne radionuclides through the lichen-caribou-human food chain, radionuclides were analyzed in tissues from 18 barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus). Radionuclides included uranium (U), radium (226Ra), lead (210Pb), and polonium (210Po) from the uranium decay series; the fission product (137Cs) from fallout; and naturally occurring potassium (40K). Natural background radiation doses average 2-4 mSv/year from cosmic rays, external gamma rays, radon inhalation, and ingestion of food items. The ingestion of 210Po and 137Cs when caribou are consumed adds to these background doses. The dose increment was 0.85 mSv/year for adults who consumed 100 g of caribou meat per day and up to 1.7 mSv/year if one liver and 10 kidneys per year were also consumed. We discuss the cancer risk from these doses. Concentration ratios (CRs), relating caribou tissues to lichens or rumen (stomach) contents, were calculated to estimate food chain transfer. The CRs for caribou muscle ranged from 1 to 16% for U, 6 to 25% for 226Ra, 1 to 2% for 210Pb, 6 to 26% for 210Po, 260 to 370% for 137Cs, and 76 to 130% for 40K, with 137Cs biomagnifying by a factor of 3-4. These CRs are useful in predicting caribou meat concentrations from the lichens, measured in monitoring programs, for the future evaluation of uranium mining impacts on this critical food chain.