Prevalence of Skin Diseases among Miners in Brgy. Diwalwal Monkayo, Compostela Valley
Background of the Study
Skin diseases are one of the health problems posed by the mining industry to its workers and to those who are living near quarry sites. In Mindanao, the mining community in Brgy. Diwalwal Monkayo, Compostela Valley is perhaps the most important because of the number of small-scale mining operations that remains largely uncontrolled. The lack of technology among the small-scale miners in the area has caused serious environmental pollution that could be a major risk factor for the emergence of skin diseases, not just among the miners themselves but also in the local population.
Mercury pollution is a common result of improper waste disposal from gold mines. In 2012, tests made by DENR in Naboc River, Compostela showed that mercury levels are as high as 1.25 mg/L. This result is such a dramatic increase from the previous tests of only 0.05 mg/L (Mellejor, 2012). This recent mercury pollution could cause an increase in the prevalence of skin diseases in the mining community. Several forms of skin diseases have been associated with exposure to mercury including eczema, miliary eruption, and chronic skin diseases such as herpes, psydracia, and impetigo (Acton, 2013; Fisher, 2008; WHO, 2008).
Currently, epidemiological studies on skin diseases are rare and most of them are based from hospital admissions. This study will strengthen existing data on the health risks of mining, specifically on the skin-related problems experienced by the miners in Brgy. Diwalwal Monkayo, Compostela Valley. Although skin problems may not seem to be a threat to the overall health of a person, they should not be underestimated because they may be indications of an underlying serious disease that needs treatment. Skin diseases need attention because they have an impact on all the aspects of life, not just on the physical health but also on the emotional and psychosocial status of the person.
Objectives of the Study
This study aims to determine the skin diseases of the gold mining community in Brgy. Diwalwal Monkayo, Compostela Valley. Specifically, this study aims to: 1. describe the different skin-related problems experienced by the miners 2. determine the prevalence of skin diseases among gold miners in the area
Significance of the Study
The skin, the largest organ of the body, protects the body from noxious substances. If the skin is damaged, this will make the body susceptible to a number of diseases that could be detrimental to the health of a person. The harm that can occur to the skin from exposure to different toxic substances in gold mining poses a health risk to the miner. This study will provide awareness to the miners of the occupational hazard of mining to their body, specifically to their skin.
Knowledge of the prevalence of skin diseases in the mining industry will hopefully make mining companies become more responsible in preserving the health and welfare of their workers. This study calls for the attention of the local government to act on the issues related on the health and environmental problems caused by irresponsible mining in the area. Measures on proper waste disposal to stop environmental pollution should be lessened to avoid the emergence of skin problems not only to the workers but also to the local community.
Scope and Limitations
This study will focus only on skin-related problems reported by miners in Brgy. Diwalwal Monkayo, Compostela Valley. All miners currently employed, with complaints related to the skin, will be the subjects of the study. Those who have chronic skin allergies even before the employment period are excluded. The number of cases will be recorded to determine the prevalence rate of skin diseases among miners in the area.
Definition of Terms
1. Prevalence – This refers to the total number of cases...
References: Authors: Birmingham, Donald J.
in 12. Skin Diseases, Durocher, Louis-Philippe, Editor, Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, Jeanne Mager Stellman, Editor-in-Chief. International Labor Organization, Geneva. © 2011.
Dermal exposure to hazardous agents can result in a variety of occupational diseases and disorders, including occupational skin diseases (OSD) and systemic toxicity. Historically, efforts to control workplace exposures to hazardous agents have focused on inhalation rather than skin exposures. As a result, assessment strategies and methods are well developed for evaluating inhalation exposures in the workplace; standardized methods are currently lacking for measuring and assessing skin exposures.
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