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 REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-13

Occupational health assessment of chromite toxicity among Indian miners


Centre of Biotechnology, Siksha 'O' Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Alok Prasad Das
Centre of Biotechnology, Siksha 'O' Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar-751 030, Odisha
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.82998

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Elevated concentration of hexavalent chromium pollution and contamination has contributed a major health hazard affecting more than 2 lakh mine workers and inhabitants residing in the Sukinda chromite mine of Odisha, India. Despite people suffering from several forms of ill health, physical and mental deformities, constant exposure to toxic wastes and chronic diseases as a result of chromite mining, there is a tragic gap in the availability of 'scientific' studies and data on the health hazards of mining in India. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Odisha State Pollution Control Board and the Odisha Voluntary Health Association data were used to compile the possible occupational health hazards, hexavalent chromium exposure and diseases among Sukinda chromite mines workers. Studies were reviewed to determine the routes of exposure and possible mechanism of chromium induced carcinogenicity among the workers. Our studies suggest all forms of hexavalent chromium are regarded as carcinogenic to workers however the most important routes of occupational exposure to Cr (VI) are inhalation and dermal contact. This review article outlines the physical, chemical, biological and psychosocial occupational health hazards of chromite mining and associated metallurgical processes to monitor the mining environment as well as the miners exposed to these toxicants to foster a safe work environment. The authors anticipate that the outcome of this manuscript will have an impact on Indian chromite mining industry that will subsequently bring about improvements in work conditions, develop intervention experiments in occupational health and safety programs.






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