Occupational exposure to combustion products rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and particles is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. This study aimed to evaluate whether the risk depended on the age at which the individuals were exposed.
Data from 1042 lung cancer cases and 2364 frequency-matched population controls selected from all men aged 40-75 years residing in Stockholm County, Sweden, at any time between 1985 and 1990, included detailed questionnaire information on occupational, residential, and smoking history. Occupational exposures were assessed by an occupational hygienist, and exposure to air pollution from road traffic was estimated based on dispersion models.
We found that individuals exposed to combustion products in their twenties were at higher risk than those never exposed (adjusted OR = 1.46; 95% CI 1.02, 2.10). The association was still evident after adjusting for a number of potential confounders, including lifetime cumulative exposure and latency. No clear association was found in those exposed at older ages.
Exposure to combustion products at a young age was associated with elevated risk of lung cancer. Exposure-reduction programs should be aware of the susceptibility of the younger employees.
OBJECTIVE: The principal aim of the study was to estimate the level of exposure to organic solvents of graffiti removers, and to identify the chemicals used in different cleaning agents. A secondary objective was to inform about the toxicity of various products and to optimise working procedures. METHODS: Exposure to organic solvents was determined by active air sampling and biological monitoring among 38 graffiti removers during an 8-h work shift in the Stockholm underground system. The air samples and biological samples were analysed by gas chromatography. Exposure to organic solvents was also assessed by a questionnaire and interviews. RESULTS: Solvents identified were N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (DPGME), propylene glycol monomethyl ether (PGME), diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (DEGEE), toluene, xylene, pseudocumene, hemimellitine, mesitylene, ethylbenzene, limonene, nonane, decane, undecane, hexandecane and gamma-butyrolactone. The 8-h average exposures [time-weighted average (TWA)] were below 20% of the Swedish permissible exposure limit value (PEL) for all solvents identified. In poorly ventilated spaces, e.g. in elevators etc., the short-term exposures exceeded occasionally the Swedish short-term exposure limit values (STEL). The blood and urine concentrations of NMP and its metabolites were low. Glycol ethers and their metabolites (2-methoxypropionic acid (MPA), ethoxy acetic acid (EAA), butoxy acetic acid (BAA), and 2-(2-methoxyethoxy) acetic acid (MEAA)) were found in low concentrations in urine. There were significant correlation between the concentrations of NMP in air and levels of NMP and its metabolites in blood and urine. The use of personal protective equipment, i.e. gloves and respirators, was generally high. CONCLUSIONS: Many different cleaning agents were used. The average exposure to solvents was low, but some working tasks included relatively high short-term exposure. To prevent adverse health effects, it is important to inform workers about the health risks and to restrict the use of the most toxic chemicals. Furthermore, it is important to develop good working procedures and to encourage the use of personal protection equipment.
BACKGROUND: We have previously found a quite strong interplay between occupational airborne pollutants, ABO phenotypes, and risk of ischaemic heart disease (IHD), with long-term exposure being associated with a significantly increased risk among men with phenotype O, and not among men with other ABO phenotypes. We suggested that the biological pathway could be a stronger systemic inflammatory response in men with blood group O. Several inflammatory mediators likely to increase the risk of IHD have recently been linked also to obesity, suggesting that long-term exposure to airborne pollutants might play a role in the aetiology of obesity. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that long-term occupational exposure to airborne pollutants would be more strongly associated with obesity in men with phenotype O than in men with other ABO phenotypes. DESIGN: Cross-sectional exposure-response study taking into account potential confounders. SETTING: The Copenhagen Male Study. SUBJECTS: A total of 3290 men aged 53-74 y. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Prevalence of obesity (BMI > or =30 (kg/m2)). RESULTS: Overall, no differences were found in the prevalence of obesity between men with the O phenotype (n=1399) and men with other phenotypes (n=1891), 8.6 and 9.0%. However, only among men with the O phenotype was long-term occupational exposure (at least 5 y of frequent exposure) to various respirable airborne pollutants: dust, asbestos, soldering fumes, welding fumes, organic solvents, fumes from lacquer, paint or varnish, toxic components, breath irritants, stench or strongly smelling products, and irritants (other than breath irritants or contagious components) associated with an increased prevalence of obesity. Statistically, the strongest univariate associations were found for asbestos exposure, welding fumes, and breath irritants. Odds ratios (95% confidence limits) for these factors were 3.7 (1.8-7.6), 2.7 (1.6-4.4), and 2.6 (1.5-4.4), respectively. This particular relationship of airborne exposures with obesity in men with phenotype O was supported in multivariate analysis including interaction terms and taking into account a number of potential confounders. In contrast, no gene-environment interactions with obesity were found with respect to ABO phenotypes and a number of nonrespirable exposures. CONCLUSION: The finding of a quite strong interplay between long-term exposure to airborne pollutants, ABO phenotypes, and risk of obesity may open up new possibilities for clarifying mechanisms underlying the global obesity epidemic.
To study the associations between exposure to bioaerosols and work-related symptoms, lung function and biomarkers of airway inflammation in compost workers.
Personal full-shift exposure measurements were performed on 47 workers employed at five windrow plants (n=20) and five reactor plants (n=27). Samples were analyzed for endotoxins, bacteria, fungal and actinomycetes spores. Health examinations were performed on workers and 37 controls before and after work on the day exposure was measured. The examinations included symptoms recorded by questionnaire, lung function by spirometry and nasal dimensions by acoustic rhinometry (AR). The pneumoproteins CC16, SP-D and SP-A were measured in a blood sample drawn at the end of the day.
The levels of endotoxins (median 3 EU/m(3), range 0-730 EU/m(3)) and actinomycetes spores (median 0.2 ? 10(6) spores/m(3), range 0-590 ? 10(6) spores/m(3)) were significantly higher in reactor plants compared to windrow plants. However, windrow composting workers reported more symptoms than reactor composting workers, probably due to use of respiratory protection. Exposure-response relationships between actinomycetes spores exposure and respiratory effects, found as cough and nose irritation during a shift, was significantly increased (OR 4.3, 95% CI 1.1-16, OR 6.1, 95% CI 1.5-25, respectively, p
BACKGROUND: Mechanisms for potential effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields on carcinogenesis have not been identified. A potential pathway could be an interaction with the endocrine system. AIMS: To analyse occupational exposure to ELF magnetic fields from welding, and tumours of the endocrine glands. METHODS: This case-control study was based on a cohort with an increased prevalence of high exposed individuals. A total of 174 incident cases of tumours of the endocrine glands, 1985-94, were identified and data were obtained from 140 (80%) of these cases; 1692 controls frequency matched on sex and age were selected, and information on 1306 (77%) individuals was obtained. A short questionnaire was sent to a work administrator at the workplaces of the cases and controls. The exposure assessment was based on questions about job tasks, exposure to different types of welding, and exposure to solvents. RESULTS: There was an overall increased risk for all tumours of the endocrine glands for individuals who had been welding sometime during the follow up. The increased risk was attributable to arc welding; for resistance welding there was no clear evidence of an association. We found an increased risk for the adrenal glands in relation to arc welding, and for the parathyroid glands in relation to both arc welding and resistance welding. An imprecise increase in risk was also noted for tumours of the pituitary gland for arc welding. No confounding effect was found for solvent exposure, and there was no sign of biological interaction. CONCLUSION: The increased risks of endocrine gland tumours related to welding might be explained by exposure to high levels of ELF magnetic fields.
The national occupational standard values for benzene are 10 ppm for Australia, 10 ppm for Denmark, 10 ppm for Finland, 10 ppm for Japan, 10 ppm for The Netherlands, 10 ppm for the United States, and 5 ppm for Sweden; in the Federal Republic of Germany the technical guideline value is 8 ppm. Crude mineral oil contains benzene as a natural constituent of approximately 0.1%. Gasoline in Sweden may contain 4-5% benzene by volume. The 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) exposure levels of Swedish petroleum refinery workers vary between 0.1 to 1 mg benzene/m3 in air. The exposures of benzene in various other occupations were measured and described. Other environmental exposures to benzene may have their origin in pyrolysis, such as tobacco smoking and burning of substances such as polyvinylchloride.
In a population-based case-referent study of lung cancer we wanted to estimate the over-all influence on the lung cancer incidence from several occupational exposures. Standard methods to do this are based on addition of separately estimated attributable fractions (AFs) by rather complex formulas. Although a simple and valid method for direct estimation of summary effects was published in 1990, it is not well known and has rarely been used. We here describe the method and apply it to the data from the case-referent study. The AF for withdrawal of occupational exposure to both asbestos and combustion products were nearly identical regardless of if it was calculated by an algorithm for summation of AF for the exposure factors separately (6.90%), by a bootstrap method (6.89%, 95% confidence interval, CI: 3.69, 10.04), or by the simple 'dichotomization'-method (6.88%, 95%CI: 3.81, 9.84). The method is very easy to apply to population-based case-referent studies analyzed by logistic regression.