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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4464


BEZERRA, Olívia Maria de Paula Alves; DIAS, Elizabeth Costa; GALVAO, Márcio Antônio Moreira  and  CARNEIRO, Ana Paula Scalia. Talc pneumoconiosis among soapstone handicraft workers in a rural area of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.19, n.6, pp.1751-1759. ISSN 0102-311X.

Talc pneumoconiosis in Brazil has received little research attention to date. The disease was investigated in Mata dos Palmitos, a district of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais State, among soapstone handicraft workers. The district has some 180 inhabitants, of whom 108 are engaged in handicrafts production, while 15 alternate handicrafts production with work in the soapstone quarries. A clinical and occupational investigation was conducted, along with a respiratory symptoms standardized questionnaire, chest x-ray (ILO standard), and spirometry. Clinical data showed a low prevalence of respiratory complaints. Dyspnea was the most frequent symptom. Chronic bronchitis was identified in 12 adult workers. Chest x-rays showed evidence of small lung opacities in 5 workers, and in 11 there was suspicion of the same opacities. One worker showed a plaque-shaped pleural thickening. Seven workers showed abnormal spirometry. The soapstone dust composition showed breathable asbestos fibers from the amphibole group (tremolite-actinolite). The results suggest talc asbestosis occurrence among soapstone handicraft workers.

Keywords : Pneumoconiosis; Talcosis; Occupational Health.

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