Pneumonia / IRON / coal / coincidence of course

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by [email protected], Aug 5, 2005.

  1. Mapping and prediction of coal workers' pneumoconiosis with
    bioavailable iron content in the bituminous coals.
    Huang X, Li W, Attfield MD, Nádas A, Frenkel K, Finkelman RB
    Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Aug ; 113(8): 964-8

    Based on the first National Study of Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis (CWP)
    and the U.S. Geological Survey database of coal quality, we show that
    the prevalence of CWP in seven coal mine regions correlates with levels
    of bioavailable iron (BAI) in the coals from that particular region
    (correlation coefficient r = 0.94, p < 0.0015). CWP prevalence is also
    correlated with contents of pyritic sulfur (r = 0.91, p < 0.0048) or
    total iron (r = 0.85, p < 0.016) but not with coal rank (r = 0.59, p <
    0.16) or silica (r = 0.28, p < 0.54). BAI was calculated using our
    model, taking into account chemical interactions of pyrite, sulfuric
    acid, calcite, and total iron. That is, iron present in coals can
    become bioavailable by pyrite oxidation, which produces ferrous sulfate
    and sulfuric acid. Calcite is the major component in coals that
    neutralizes the available acid and inhibits iron's bioavailability.
    Therefore, levels of BAI in the coals are determined by the available
    amounts of acid after neutralization of calcite and the amount of total
    iron in the coals. Using the linear fit of CWP prevalence and the
    calculated BAI in the seven coal mine regions, we have derived and
    mapped the pneumoconiotic potencies of 7,000 coal samples. Our studies
    indicate that levels of BAI in the coals may be used to predict coal's
    toxicity, even before large-scale mining. Key words: bioavailable iron,
    calcite, coal, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD,
    pneumoconiosis.


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