Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Joseph Sottile


Utilizing data collected by the University of Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Initiative (LCRI), this study investigated potential mining-related sources for the elevated levels of cadmium in Harlan and Letcher counties. Statistical analyses for this study were conducted utilizing SAS. A number of linear regression models and logarithmic models were used to evaluate the significance of the data. The linear regression models consisted of both simple and multivariate types, with the simple models seeking to establish significance between the potential sources and urine cadmium levels and the multivariate models seeking both to identify any statistically significant linear relationships between source types as well as establish a relationship between the potential source and the urine cadmium levels.

The analysis began by investigating which ingestion method caused the increased levels of cadmium exposure. The analysis included ingestion through water sources and inhalation of dust. Of these two, dust showed the higher level of correlation. The second step was to analyze a number of sources of dust, particularly those related to mining practices in the area. These included the proximity to the Extended Haul Road System, secondary haul roads, rail roads, and processing plants. Of the variables in the analysis, Extended Haul Roads, secondary haul roads, and rail roads showed no correlation, and only the proximity to processing plants showed statistical significance.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)