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Document ID (ISN)103629
CIS number 04-579
ISSN - Serial title 0007-9952 - Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail
Year 2003
Convention or series no. INRS ND 2200-193-03
Author(s) Cowie H.A., Wild P., Beck J., Auburtin G., Piekarski C., Massin N., Cherrie J.W., Hurley J.F., Miller B.G., Groat S., Soutar C.A.
Title An epidemiological study of the respiratory health of workers in the European refractory ceramic fibre industry
Original title Etude épidémiologique de la santé respiratoire des travailleurs de l'industrie européenne des fibres céramiques réfractaires [in French]
Bibliographic information 4th Quarter 2003, No.193, p.23-35. Illus. 22 ref.
Abstract The objective of this study was to investigate possible relations between respiratory health and past airborne exposure to refractory ceramic fibres (RCFs) and respirable dust in workers at six European factories. The target population comprised workers associated with RCF production. Information was collected on personal characteristics, chest radiographs, lung function, respiratory symptoms, smoking, and full occupational history. 774 workers participated. Profusion of small opacities in exposed workers was similar to that among an unexposed control group. Small opacities of International Labour Organisation (ILO) category 1/0+ were not associated with exposure. An association of borderline significance between 0/1+ opacities and exposure to respirable fibres was found for some exposure periods only, the time-related pattern being biologically implausible. Pleural changes were related to age and exposure to asbestos, and findings were consistent with an effect of time since first exposure to RCFs. Among men, forced expired volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were inversely related to exposure to fibres, in current smokers only. FEV1/FVC ratio and transfer factor (TLCO) were not related to exposures. The estimated restrictive effect was on average mild. Prevalence of respiratory symptoms was low. Chronic bronchitis and its associated symptoms (cough, phlegm) showed some association with recent exposure to respirable fibres. This could be due to an irritant effect of RCFs.
Descriptors (primary) Europe; respiratory diseases; risk factors; pulmonary function; ceramic fibres
Descriptors (secondary) irritants; chronic bronchitis; ILO; asbestos; smoking; epidemiology; radiological classifications; pleural diseases; one-second forced expiratory volume; long-term study; respiratory function tests; opacities; radiological changes; maximal expiratory flow
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceGermany; France; United Kingdom
Subject(s) Materials, glass and ceramics
Toxic and dangerous substances
Broad subject area(s) Chemical safety
Industries and occupations
Browse category(ies) Diseases of the respiratory system (except for pneumoconiosis & similar)