Exposure Assessment and Asbestosis Pulmonum among Inhabitants near Abandoned Asbestos Mines Using Deposited Dust

폐석면광산 주변 지역의 주택 침적먼지의 석면 검출과 석면폐증의 관련성

  • Received : 2015.04.15
  • Accepted : 2015.12.15
  • Published : 2015.12.28


Objectives: The lack of reliable information on environmental pollution and health impacts related to asbestos contamination from abandoned mines has drawn attention to the need for a community health study. This study was performed to evaluate asbestos-related health symptoms among residents near abandoned asbestos mines located in the Chungcheong Provinces. In addition, exposure assessment for asbestos is needed although the exposure to asbestos was in the past. Methods: Past exposure to asbestos among inhabitants near abandoned asbestos mines was estimated by using surface sampling of deposited dust in indoor and outdoor residences. A total of 54 participants were divided into two groups with (34 cases) and without (20 controls) diseases related to asbestos. Surface sampling of deposited dust was carried out in indoor and outdoor residences by collecting 105 samples. Deposited dust for sampling was analyzed by polarization microscope (PLM) and scanning electron microscope?energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDX) to detect asbestos. Subsequently, the elements of the deposited dust with asbestos were analyzed by SEM-EDX to assess the contribution of sources such as abandoned mines, slate and soil. Results: Among the 105 samples, asbestos was detected by PLM in 29 (27.6%) sampling points, and detected by SEM in 56 (48.6%) sampling points. Asbestos in indoor residences was detected by PLM in four sampling points, and by SEM in 12 sampling points. Asbestos detection in indoor residences may be due to ventilation between indoors and outdoors, and indicates long-term exposure. The asbestos detection rate for outdoor residences in the case group was higher than that in the control group. This can be explained as the case group having had higher exposure to asbestos, and there has been continuous exposure to asbestos in the control group as well as the case group. Conclusion: Past residential asbestos exposure may be associated with asbestosis among local residents near abandoned asbestos mines. Odds ratios were calculated for asbestos detection in outdoor residence by logistic regression analysis. Odds ratio between asbestos detection and asbestosis pulmonum was 3.36 (95% CI 0.90-12.53) (p=0.072), adjusting for age, sex, smoking status and work history with multi-variable logistic regression by PLM analysis method.


Abandoned mine;asbestos;deposited dust;past exposure;surface sampling


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Grant : 지역산업 성장 핵심 융복합 산업보건복지 전문 인력 양성 사업단