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Biological markers as indicators of exposure and pneumoconiotic risk : prospective study

Abstract : This research is designed to evaluate a number of biological markers to estimate harmful exposure on coal miners from different mining regions in France and to relate the outcome to differences in prevalence of coal worker pneumoconiosis (CWP) between these regions. Eight epidemiological groups of active and ex-miners (smokers and non-smokers) have been selected in the French collieries (North, Lorraine and Provence) according to their occupational and pneumoconiotic status. The following biomarkers have been evaluated: cellularity of sputum, elementary analysis of particles in TEM/EDAX, plasma neutral metalloendopeptidase elastase type (NMEP), leucocyte elastase (HLE), fibronectin (FN) and elastin peptides. Pulmonary alveolitis, expressed by sputum cellularity, is different between active workers groups but not related to the general background of pneumoconiosis prevalence in the French collieries. In the plasma parameters, fibronectin, HLE and NMEP significantly increased in all groups of coal mine workers as compared to the control group, except for fibronectin parameter in Lorraine collierie. The degree of increase of these parameters allow us to discriminate the different groups and suggest that plasma FN, HLE and NMEP may be considered as biological markers of chronic inhalation of coal mine dust particles. The decrease of elastin peptides level in the Lorraine group alone suggests a specific alteration of elastin metabolism. These parameters were not related to the development of pneumoconiosis and its degree of severity.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 21, 2014 - 1:26:37 PM
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Jean-Marc Porcher, R. El Nabout, Patrick Sebastien, P.A. Borm, Sylvie Honnons, et al.. Biological markers as indicators of exposure and pneumoconiotic risk : prospective study. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Springer Verlag, 1993, 65 (suppl. 1), pp.209-213. ⟨ineris-00962535⟩

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