What is the risk of impaired lung function in contemporary Swedish rubber workers and are there modifying effects of genetic variants?
Included in the study were 159 rubber exposed and 118 not-rubber exposed workers. Lung function was analyzed as forced vital capacity percent of predicted and forced expiratory volume in 1 second percent of predicted. Levels of 2-thiothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid (a marker of carbon disulfide and vulcanization fumes) was assessed with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Polymorphisms in glutathione-related genes were analyzed by Taqman-based allelic discrimination and ordinary polymerase chain reaction.
There was an association between increasing levels of 2-thiothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid and impaired lung function among exposed workers. The association was modified by glutathione S-transferase alpha 1 (GSTA1)-52 and GSTP1-114. GSTM1 had an influence on lung function among unexposed workers.
There may be a risk of impaired lung function in contemporary rubber workers. Gene-modifying effects may be considered in risk assessments.