Niveles de exposición ambiental a polvo de carbón y su relación con las condiciones de higiene y seguridad industrial en trabajadores de minas subterráneas de la región de Boyacá
Bonilla Avila, Margoth
Introduction: Underground mining is considered high risk affecting the health of workers exposed to risk factors and working conditions, without any information on particulate matter concentration and risk levels. Objective: To determine the environmental exposure to coal dust and its relation to the hygiene and industrial safety conditions in employees working in underground mines in the region of Boyacá. Materials and methods: Cross-sectional study, where questionnaires were used to collect data on working conditions and there was collected environmental sampling of particulate matter by means of gravimetric analysis and methodology 0600 of NIOSH method out. Results: The study was performed in 19 companies with 232 workers, aged between 20 and 73 years. The average concentration of particulate matter in the 209 carried out monitoring was 3.4 + 3, 4 mg/m3. The risk level from exposure to coal dust was found in the 70.8% (148) monitoring and 20.6% (43) on severe level, with average of 4.9 + 4.9 mg/m3. Significant associations were reported among workers who were not using respiratory protection and a medium - high risk levels (p =0,033); the use of masks without cartridge and low - medium risk levels (p=0,013); no use of hearing protection and medium - high levels (p=0,010) and smoking at work and medium, high, and severe levels (p=0,008). Conclusions: It was determined an existing linking and meaningful relationship between the levels of severe and high risk for exposure to coal dust concentrations above permissible levels and the conditions of industrial safety of workers.