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Exp Lung Res. 1990 Jan;16(1):5-13.

Pneumoconioses: the situation in developing countries.

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  • 1Institute for Rescue, Ergonomics, and Industrial Hygiene, Hasselt, Belgium.


In developing countries, the incidence and prevalence of pneumoconioses are high and appear to be increasing. The rapid expansion of mining, mineral extraction, construction, and other industries places many new workers at risk each year. The hygienically poor working conditions often expose workers to high concentrations of respirable dust, so that pneumoconioses can develop with rapid progression after a short latency period. The health risk is increased by the high prevalence of tuberculosis in most of those countries. Accurate statistical data on occupational diseases in developing countries are rare. Although some prevalence data are available from cross-sectional studies, incidence figures and risk estimates are usually lacking because of the absence of reliable information about the size of the population at risk and exposure measurements. Some figures on pneumoconioses from countries in Africa, Asia, and South America are presented. To prevent pneumoconioses, hygienic conditions at the workplaces should be controlled and improved and appropriate dust standards developed. Medical surveillance of exposed workers should be organized. Finally, research in the field of pneumoconioses in developing countries should be promoted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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