Pneumoconioses make up a group of lung diseases related to exposure to mineral dusts in work environments. They represent a public health problem, considering that such diseases could already have been eradicated from Brazil, if control measures had been taken in such environments. The aim of this research was to map the distribution of deaths due to pneumoconioses in the different geographical areas and states of Brazil, by means of an ecological survey carried out in the working population older than 15 years. The preliminary results of this investigation in the Brazilian macro-regions from 1979 to 1998 are presented. This study used mortality data provided by the Mortality Information System of Datasus - Data Processing Department of the Unified Health System, using the codes of the ICD (International Classification of Diseases) 9 and ICD 10. The results showed an increase in the mortality coefficient due to pneumoconioses per 1 million inhabitants per year along the studied period of time. By shifting from ICD 9 to ICD 10, the frequency of deaths doubled. We concluded that the mortality coefficients due to pneumoconioses do not reflect the problem properly, thus masking the transcendence and magnitude of the disease. In order to obtain more representative indicators, the actually exposed population and the territorial distribution of the disease have to be known.
Mortality; Pneumoconiosis; Asbestosis; Silicosis