Recorded at AIHce EXP 2021
Taconite (iron ore) mining in the U.S. has become a matter of concern from a public health perspective. During the last two decades, an elevated level of mesothelioma mortality was reported for miners and millers in the Mesabi Range, Minnesota. The agent responsible has not been identified. Non-asbestiform varieties of amphibole occur in the ore. Potentially other sources of exposure to mineral fiber, such as asbestos used for insulation or asbestiform minerals other than amphibole in the mine, could historically or currently affect the mortality level in workers. This session will discuss: a) modern mineralogy of fibrous minerals; b) principles of risk assessment for the asbestiform and non-asbestiform impurities; c) approaches to evaluate the weight of evidence characteristics of the data; d) quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models that relate cancer mortality with various fiber characteristics; e) use of mineralogical information in site assessments and respiratory protection programs; and f) the need for updated occupational exposure limits for fibrous amphiboles.
Upon completion of the session, the participant will be able to:
- Describe the factors affecting the health of taconite ore miners.
- Recognize the characteristics of elongate mineral particles.
- Discuss current regulations related to fiber exposure and an OEL.
- Evaluate risk assessment methodology for the carcinogenic effects.
Dr. Andrey Korchevskiy, PhD, DABT, CIH
Linda Dell, MS