To study the relationship between exposure to airborne particles in a pulp and paper mill and markers of inflammation and coagulation in blood.
Personal sampling of inhalable dust was performed for 72 subjects working in a Swedish pulp and paper mill. Stationary measurements were used to study concentrations of total dust, respirable dust, PM10 and PM2.5, the particle surface area and the particle number concentrations. Markers of inflammation, interleukins (IL-1b, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10), C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), and fibrinogen and markers of coagulation factor VIII, von Willebrand, plasminogen activator inhibitor, and D-dimer were measured in plasma or serum. Sampling was performed on the last day of the work free period of 5Â days, before and after the shift the first day of work and after the shifts the second and third day. In a mixed model analysis, the relationship between particulate exposures and inflammatory markers was determined. Sex, age, smoking, and BMI were included as covariates.
The average 8-h time-weighted average (TWA) air concentration levels of inhalable dust were 0.30Â mg/m(3), range 0.005-3.3Â mg/m(3). The proxies for average 8-h TWAs of respirable dust were 0.045Â mg/m(3). Significant and consistent positive relations were found between several exposure metrics (PM 10, total and inhalable dust) and CRP, SAA and fibrinogen taken post-shift, suggesting a dose-effect relationship.
This study supports a relationship between occupational particle exposure and established inflammatory markers, which may indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
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