A review of the health effects and exposure-responsible relationship of diesel particulate matter for underground mines
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The increasing use of diesel-powered equipment in confined spaces (underground mines) has the potential to over expose underground miners under the threat of diesel particulate matter (DPM). Miners in underground mines can be exposed to DPM concentrations far more than works in other industries. A great number of animal and epidemiological studies have shown that both short-term and long-term DPM exposure have adverse health effect. Based on reviews of related studies, especially some recent evidence, this paper investigated the long and short-term health effects based on animal studies and epidemiological studies. The exposure-response relationship studies were also explored and compared to the current DPM regulation or standards in some countries. This paper found that the DPM health effect studies specifically for miners are not sufficient to draw solid conclusions, and a recommendation limit of DPM concentration can be put in place for better protection of miners from DPM health risk. Current animal studies lack the use of species that have similar lung functions as human for understanding the cancer mode of action in human. And finally, the DPM health hazard will continue to be a challenging topic before the mode of action and reliable exposure-response relationship are established.
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