The Relationship Between Exposure to Coal Dust Levels and Acute Respiratory Infection: A Literature Review


Coal is a resource that humans use as fuel, including for steam power plant activities. In the process of generating electricity, coal must go through a combustion process which in the end leaves dust from burning the coal. This combustion residue contains compounds that can cause respiratory problems, one of which is acute respiratory infection (ARI). This study aimed to determine the relationship between exposure to coal dust levels and the incidence of ARI, and to identify the associations between the duration of exposure and dust concentration in coal combustion residues with the incidence of ARI. This was a literature review, with a sample of 11 journal articles obtained from Pubmed (n = 2), Proquest (n = 3), Science Direct (n = 1), EBSCO (n = 3), and Neliti (n = 1). The keywords used to search for the relevant articles were: “Acute Respiratory Infection” OR “Pneumocosis” OR “Pneumonia” AND “Coal Dust” OR “Dust” OR “PM₁₀” OR “PM₂,₅”. Thematic analysis was used to examine the results. 81.8% of the results from the articles showed that there was a relationship between exposure to coal dust levels and the incidence of ARI, while the remaining 18.2% showed no correlation. Exposure duration, dust particle size, threshold value and dust-forming compounds have a relationship with the incidence of ARI and other respiratory disorders.

Keywords: acute respiratory infection, ARI, coal dust

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