Health Problems of Coal Mine Workers in Pakistan
Objective: To study the health impacts of coal mining on coal miners in Baluchistan.
Settings and duration: The data on coal miners was collected from May 2008 to April 2009.
Subjects and Methods: Two types of data were collected. Primary data was obtained through topographic survey and
questionnaire while Secondary data about the health issues, medical facilities and other allied facilities of coal mine workers
of Baluchistan were collected from; Mine& Mineral department of Quetta, hospitals and medicals facilities in coal mine
fields. Three mine fields i.e. Mach, So-range-Degari, and Chamalong coal fields were selected and further subdivided as M1,
M2, and M3 at Machcoalfield, SD1, SD2 and SD3 at So-range-Degariand C1, C2 and C3 at Chamalong coalfield.
Results: The average emission of Methane (CH4), Carbon monoxide (CO), and Oxygen (O2) in coal mine fields was
11.8m3/ton, 36ppm and 14% respectively which, exceeded the permissible limits of 1-10m3/ton, 30ppm and 18%. The
concentration of coal dust (Carbon and Quartz) was 4-5mg/m3 and 0.35mg/m3 respectively as against the threshold limits of
2mg/m3 and0.05-0.1mg/m3 for 8 hours daily and 40 hours/week. Due to high concentration of coal dust theminers
Experienced headache, irritation in throat, nose and eyes, drowsiness, shortness of breath, nausea, pneumoconiosis,
tuberculosis, chronic obstructive bronchitis, heart problems, and other respiratory illnesses. The coal water and slurry was
disposed off in an unconfined area causing contamination of drinking water leading to symptoms of indigestion and diarrhea
Conclusion: Government of Baluchistan and coal mine owners should take concrete steps to improve the adverse health
impacts of coal miners.
Keywords - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Threshold Limit Values, Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis, Permissible
Exposure Limit, Tuberculosis.