ILO Home
Go to the home page
Site map | Contact us Franšais | Espa˝ol

CISDOC database

Document ID (ISN)111856
CIS number 11-0537
ISSN - Serial title 0003-4878 - Annals of Occupational Hygiene
Year 2011
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Nelson G., Murray J., Phillips J.I.
Title The risk of asbestos exposure in South African diamond mine workers
Bibliographic information 2011, Vol.55, No.6, p.569-577. Illus. 35 ref.
Internet access The_risk_of_asbestos.pdf [in English]
Abstract Asbestos is associated with South African diamond mines due to the nature of kimberlite and the location of the diamond mines in relation to asbestos deposits. However little is known about the health risks in the diamond mining industry. The objective of this study was to explore the possibility of asbestos exposure during the process of diamond mining. Scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis were used to identify asbestos fibres in the lungs of diamond mine workers who had an autopsy for compensation purposes and in the tailings and soils from three South African diamond mines located close to asbestos deposits. The asbestos lung fibre burdens were calculated and asbestos-related pathological findings in diamond mine workers at autopsy were documented. Tremolite-actinolite asbestos fibres were identified in the lungs of five men working on diamond mines. Tremolite-actinolite and/or chrysotile asbestos were present in the mine tailings of all three mines. Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and/or pleural plaques were diagnosed in six diamond mine workers at autopsy. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Descriptors (primary) South Africa; asbestos; exposure evaluation; diamond mining
Descriptors (secondary) chrysotile; actinolite; tremolite; mesothelioma; asbestosis; scanning electron microscopy; x-ray spectrometry; autopsy
Document type D - Periodical articles
Subject(s) Mines and quarries
Broad subject area(s) Chemical safety
Occupational medicine, epidemiology
Browse category(ies) Asbestos
Mining and quarrying