The Ontario Miners Mortality Study General Outline And Progress Report

Muller, J. ; Wheeler, W. C. ; Gentleman, J. F. ; Suranyi, G. ; Kusiak, R. ; Smith, M.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1981
INTRODUCTION In 1974 two of the present authors reported the results of a pilot study indicating an increase of lung cancer risk in Ontario uranium miners. (Muller, Wheeler, 1973, 1974) The study was based on data contained in a computerized Mining Master File maintained by the Ontario Workmen's Compensation Board that contained information on miners examined in Ontario who had either 60 months of dust exposure in mines or had signs of pneumoconiosis or tuberculosis. Including the above conditions the definition of uranium miners added the condition of one month or more of uranium mining experience in Ontario. This list of Ontario uranium miners contained 8,649 names. Following the results of this first pilot study, we embarked on creating a file of uranium miners containing information on men with one month or more of uranium mining experience in Ontario without any further conditions. This file was used by the Royal Commission on the Health and Safety of Workers in Mines in their study of risk in Ontario uranium miners. (Hewitt 1976) This file contained 15,094 names. In this report we give an outline and progress report on a study of Ontario miners that we are conducting at present. It was felt that the male population of Ontario is not necessarily an adequate control population for uranium miners. A preliminary examination of the work history of uranium miners indicated that the majority of them (about 90 percent) had other mining experience in addition to their exposure in uranium mines. We therefore considered it useful to evaluate the possible effects of non-uranium mining on risk, and for this reason decided to make the Uranium Miners Study part of a study dealing with the mortality of Ontario miners in general. Aims of the Study The aims of the Study include the evaluation of: 1) the risk of dying by cause in non-uranium miners as compared to the male population of Ontario and Northern Ontario. 2) any differences that might exist in the death experience of non-uranium miners by cause according to ore mined. 3) the effect of length of exposure in non-uranium mines on age-specific risk by cause. 4) the dose-response function for primary cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lung from exposure to radon and its short-lived daughters. 5) the possible effect of the mining environment on deaths from causes other than cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lung. The study will address itself to a number of other factors that might well affect the dose-response function. These include: a) factors in the mine environment - other than radon daughters - that might affect lung cancer mortality. b) the effect of non-uranium mining on lung cancer risk in uranium miners. c) the effect of age as well as age at time of exposure on lung cancer risk. d) questions of latency and the possible dependence of latency on age at time of exposure. e) smoking as an important factor in lung cancer risk. f) Histological type of cancer in relation to the various parameters of exposure and age. MATERIALS AND METHODS The Study is making use of existing computerized data files and has set up certain new files. These include the Mining Master File and the Model Development File. The Mining Master File This file is a computerized record of data on individual miners obtained at yearly miners' examinations that have been carried out since the mid 1920's. The conditions for inclusion in the Mining Master File have been indicated above. Information contained in the file includes: (1) Identifying information: a) Surname and given names b) Date and place of birth c) Miners Certificate Number d) Social Insurance Number if available. (2) Updated Employment data obtained at each miner's examination: a) Year of first dust exposure in Ontario b) Year of first dust exposure outside Ontario c) Number of months worked in mining d) Ores mined e) Mining areas and mines f) Occupations
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