This paper draws together the mortality experience for a cohort of some 11000 male Quebec Chrysotile miners and millers, reported at intervals since 1971 and now again updated. Of the 10918 men in the complete cohort, 1138 were lost to view, almost all never traced after employment of only a month or two before 1935; the other 9780 men were traced into 1992. Of these, 8009 (82%) are known to have died: 657 from lung cancer, 38 from mesotheliona, 1205 from other malignant disease, 108 from pneumoconiosis and 561 from other non-malignant respiratory diseases (excluding tuberculosis). After early fluctuations. SMRs (all causes) against Quebec rates have been reasonably steady since about 1945. For men first employed in Asbestos, mine or factory, they were very much what might have been expected for a blue collar population without any hazardous exposure. SMRs in the Thetford Mines area were almost 8% higher, but in line with anecdotal evidence concerning socio-economic status. At exposures below 300 (million particles per cubic foot) x years, (mpcf.y), equivalent to roughly 1000 (fibres/ml) x years-or, say, 10 years in the 1940s at 80 (fibres/ml)-findings were as follows. There were no discernible associations of degree of exposure and SMRs, whether for all causes of death or for all the specific cancer sites examined. The average SMRs were 1.07 (all causes), and 1.16, 0.93, 1.03 and 1.21, respectively, for gastric, other abdominal, laryngeal and lung cancer. Men whose exposures were less then 300 mpcf.y suffered almost one-half of the 146 deaths from pneumoconiosis or mesothelioma; the elimination of these two causes would have reduced these men's SMR (all causes) from 1.07 to approximately 1.06. Thus it is concluded from the viewpoint of mortality that exposure in this industry to less than 300 mpcf.y has been essentially innocuous, although there was a small risk or pneumoconiosis or mesothelioma. Higher exposures have, however, led to excesses, increasing with degree of exposure, of mortality from all causes, and from lung cancer and stomach cancer, but such exposures, of at least 300 mpcf.y, are several orders of magnitude more severe than any that have been seen for many years. The effects of cigarette smoking were much more deleterious than those of dust exposure, not only for lung cancer (the SMR for smokers of 20+ cigarettes a day being 4.6 times higher than that for non-smokers), but also for stomach cancer (2.0 times higher), laryngeal cancer (2.9 times higher), and-most importantly-for all causes (1.6 times higher).
Comment In: Ann Occup Hyg. 1997 Jan;41(1):3-129072948
Comment In: Ann Occup Hyg. 2001 Jun;45(4):329-35; author reply 336-811414250
Although increases in inhalable particle (PM10) concentrations have been associated with acute reductions in the level of lung function and increased symptom reporting in children, including children with asthma, it is not clear whether these effects occur largely in asthmatic children, or even whether asthmatic children are more likely to experience these effects than children without asthma. To address these points, the following subgroups of children were selected from a survey population of all 2,200 elementary school children (6 to 13 yr of age) in a pulp mill community on the west coast of Vancouver Island: (1) all children with physician-diagnosed asthma (n = 75 participated), (2) all children with an exercise-induced fall in FEV1 without diagnosed asthma (n = 57), (3) all children with airway obstruction (FEV1/FVC
Wood trimmers are exposed to molds that periodically grow on timber, and may develop acute as well as chronic pulmonary function impairment. This study examined whether these acute changes in pulmonary function are predictors for a longitudinal deterioration in pulmonary function, beyond normal aging and exposure. Across-shift changes in pulmonary function, measured during a working week, were evaluated in 15 wood trimmers with a follow-up time of 27 months. Twenty-six sawmill workers, employed at the same plants as the wood trimmers, served as control subjects. The highest concentration of viable mold spores for the wood trimmers was 10(6) colony-forming units (cfu)/m3, i.e., several times higher than the corresponding value for the sawmill workers. At the follow-up, wood trimmers had a lower forced vital capacity (FVC) on average, after adjustment for age and height, compared to the sawmill workers. In addition, a correlation was found between the across-week change in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and the decline in FEV1 between the first and the second occasion, after adjusting for normal aging in nonsmoking wood trimmers (r2 = 84%, p
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify possible health effects caused by different cleaning agents used in graffiti removal. METHODS: In 38 graffiti removers working 8-h shifts in the Stockholm underground system, the exposure to organic solvents was assessed by active air sampling, biological monitoring, and by interviews and a questionnaire. Health effects were registered, by physical examinations, porta7ble spirometers and self-administered questionnaires. The prevalence of symptoms was compared with 49 controls working at the underground depots, and with 177 population controls. RESULTS: The 8-h time-weighted average exposures (TWA) were low, below 20% of the Swedish permissible exposure limit value (PEL) for all solvents. The short-term exposures occasionally exceeded the Swedish short-term exposure limit values (STEL), especially during work in poorly ventilated spaces, e.g. in elevators. The graffiti removers reported significantly higher prevalence of tiredness and upper airway symptoms compared with the depot controls, and significantly more tiredness, headaches and symptoms affecting airways, eyes and skin than the population controls. Among the graffiti removers, some of the symptoms increased during the working day. On a group basis, the lung function registrations showed normal values. However, seven workers displayed a clear reduction of peak expiratory flow (PEF) over the working shift. CONCLUSIONS: Though their average exposure to organic solvents was low, the graffiti removers reported significantly higher prevalence of unspecific symptoms such as fatigue and headache as well as irritative symptoms from the eyes and respiratory tract, compared with the controls. To prevent adverse health effects it is important to inform the workers about the health risks, and to restrict use of the most hazardous chemicals. Furthermore, it is important to develop good working practices and to encourage the use of personal protective equipment.
The risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) within different occupations was studied, using occupational information obtained from the Swedish 1970 census. Follow-up in the Swedish Cancer Register was carried out from 1971 to 1984. Among male petrol station attendants, 10 cases were observed versus 2.8 expected (observed/expected = 3.6, 95% confidence interval 1.7-6.6). For several decades, Swedish petrol has contained 3-5% of benzene. Thus, a hypothesis was that benzene had contributed to the excess risk. The work histories of the 10 cases were reconstructed through interviews with surviving relatives and were compatible with the hypothesis. However, because the air benzene exposures at petrol stations always have been lower than benzene exposures associated previously with an increased risk of AML, the leukemogenic effect of benzene may have been potentiated by other petrol or vehicle exhaust components.
Comment In: Arch Environ Health. 1996 Nov-Dec;51(6):469-719012330
Daily symptom rates in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and in other subjects with presumed high sensitivity to air pollution who lived near a coal-fired plant were compared with 24-hr ambient air concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, soot, and suspended particles as well as with emissions from the plant. The mean concentrations of each of the pollutants during the 4-month study period were below 30 micrograms/m3, and no single 24-hr concentration exceeded 100 micrograms/m3. There were no consistent associations between plant emissions and pollutant levels or between these two variables and daily symptom rates. The results indicate that the coal-fired plant was not of major importance for the occurrence of acute respiratory symptoms in the surrounding population.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined certain occupational exposures and the risk for adult-onset asthma. METHODS: A nested case-referent study of adult-onset asthma was performed on a random population sample (N=15813), aged 21 to 51 years. Cases for the study included 2 groups: subjects reporting "physician-diagnosed" asthma (N=251) and a broader "asthma" group (N=362). The "asthma" group consisted of subjects with "physician-diagnosed" asthma (N=251) and subjects reporting asthma-like symptoms without having "physician-diagnosed" asthma (N=111). The referents (N=2044) were randomly selected from the whole population sample. The case-referent sample was investigated with a comprehensive questionnaire about occupational exposures, asthma, respiratory symptoms, smoking, and atopy. Odds ratios were calculated with stratification for gender, year of diagnosis, and birth year. RESULTS: The highest odds ratio for "physician-diagnosed" asthma was associated with exposure to flour dust [odds ratio (OR) 2.8, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.5-5.2] and the occupational handling of resin-based paints (isocyanates) (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.6-5.9). Exposure to welding fumes, textile dust, and work with glues containing acrylates was also associated with an increased odds ratio for "physician-diagnosed" asthma. Including persons with asthma-like symptoms (ie, the asthma group) showed similar results. CONCLUSION: This population-based case-referent study from Sweden indicates that occupational exposure to acrylate-based compounds and welding fumes is associated with increased risk for adult-onset asthma.
The research purpose is an estimation of influence of the bauxite dust on the state of the bronchopulmonary system of workers. It has been indicated that exposure of the poor fibrogenic dust while the process of the bauxite ore extraction, results in development of pnevmokoniosis characterized by substantial ventilatory and haemodynamic disorders limiting the workability of patients.
OBJECTIVES: To test the hypothesis that long-term occupational exposure to airborne pollutants is a stronger risk factor for ischaemic heart disease (IHD) in men with blood type O than in men with other ABO phenotypes. DESIGN: Cross-sectional and prospective study taking into account potential confounders. SETTING: The Copenhagen Male Study. SUBJECTS: 3321 men aged 53-74 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Lifetime prevalence of myocardial infarction and incidence of IHD in an 8-year follow-up among men without overt cardiovascular disease. RESULTS: Among men with phenotypes other than O no association was found between airborne pollutant exposure and IHD risk. Among men with blood type O (P = 1417, 42%), 4.7% had a history of myocardial infarction, as compared with 5.7% among men with other phenotypes (P = 1904, 58%). Long-term occupational exposure (> 5 years of exposure) to various airborne pollutants: soldering fumes, welding fumes and plastic fumes was associated with a significantly increased lifetime prevalence of myocardial infarction. Odds ratios (95% confidence limits) for these factors were 3.0 (1.6-5.8), P = 0.002, 2.1 (1.05-4.2), P = 0.05, and 8.3 (2.6-27.0), P = 0.003. In an 8-year follow-up a similar though weaker association was found with a significantly increased risk for those exposed long term to soldering fumes: 1.8 (1.0-3.2), P = 0.05. CONCLUSION: The finding of a quite strong interplay between airborne pollutants, ABO phenotypes, and risk of IHD, may open up new possibilities for clarifying the roles of the ABO blood group and air pollution as cardiovascular risk factors.
Farmers are known to be at high risk from the development of occupational airway disease. The first stage of the European farmers' study has shown that pig farmers in Denmark and Germany, poultry farmers in Switzerland and greenhouse workers in Spain were at highest risk for work-related respiratory symptoms. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine exposure levels at relevant farm workplaces. Dust and endotoxin levels as well as microbiological concentrations were determined in 213 crop and animal farming environments by personal sampling. The highest total dust concentrations were found in poultry houses in Switzerland with median concentrations of 7.01 mg/m(3). The median airborne endotoxin concentrations in total dust ranged between 0.36 ng/m(3) in Spanish greenhouses and 257.58 ng/m(3) in poultry houses in Switzerland. Likewise, the highest median concentrations of total (2.0 x (7) cells/m(3)) and active fungi (4.4 x (5) cfu/m(3)) have been found in Swiss poultry houses. The predominant fungus taxa discovered in poultry houses were Eurotium spp. and thermophilic fungi. Cladosporium and Botrytis were mainly detected in greenhouses. The exposure level found in this study might put the farmers at risk from respiratory diseases.