Diseases of the respiratory system (except for pneumoconiosis & similar) - 2,965 entries found
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- Diseases of the respiratory system (except for pneumoconiosis & similar)
Lemière C., Cartier A., Dolovich J., Chan-Yeung M., Grammer L., Ghezzo H., L'Archevêque J., Malo J.L.
Outcome of specific bronchial responsiveness to occupational agents after removal from exposure
Topics: asthma; autoimmunization; immunology; inhalation tests; isocyanates; serological reactions; transfer to other work.
American Review of Respiratory Disease, Aug. 1996, Vol.154, p.329-333. 22 ref.
Screening and surveillance of workers exposed to mineral dusts
This book presents different approaches of screening and surveillance programmes for workers exposed to mineral dusts, focusing on asbestos, crystalline silica and coal mine dust. The diseases associated with exposure to these dusts are reviewed, as are the diagnostic tests. Technical annexes contain examples of existing programmes in several countries and examine the use of questionnaires, lung spirometry and chest radiography.
World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1996. ix, 68p. Bibl.ref.
A survey of respiratory and dermatological disease in the chrome plating industry in the West Midlands, UK
A cross-sectional survey of 20 chrome plating plants in the United Kingdom involved a questionnaire survey and clinical examination of 71 chrome platers. 23% of platers had dermatitis at the time of the visits and 45% of companies had at least one case of dermatitis in their plating workforce. 23% of platers had evidence of old chrome ulcers and 13% had evidence of new and healing ulcers. 17% had nasal inflammation and 14% had septal perforations. Lower respiratory symptoms were rare. Preventive measures are discussed.
Occupational Medicine, Dec. 1996, Vol.46, No.6, p.432-434. 10 ref.
Lemière C., et al.
Occupational asthma caused by aromatic herbs
A case report of occupational asthma is described in a butcher working in an area where spices and aromatic herbs were used during the preparation of meat products. Specific inhalation challenges and skin tests produced positive reactions to several herbs including thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and garlic; garlic was the most potent allergen by weight. These herbs should be considered as agents causing occupational asthma in the food industry.
Allergy, 1996, Vol.51, p.647-649. Illus. 8 ref.
Chronic beryllium disease: Diagnosis and management
Chronic beryllium disease is a pulmonary granulomatosis. Individuals at risk include workers involved in beryllium extraction and in the production of metallic beryllium and beryllium products. Immunologic studies have demonstrated a cell-mediated response to beryllium. Diagnosis depends on the demonstration of pathologic changes (granuloma) and evidence that the granuloma were caused by hypersensitivity to beryllium. Using these criteria, diagnosis of the disease can now be made before the onset of clinical symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment may lead to regression of symptoms and prevention of further progression of the disease.
Environmental Health Perspectives, Oct. 1996, Vol.104, Suppl.5, p.945-947. 21 ref.
Smith T.A., Lumley K.P.S.
Work-related asthma in a population exposed to grain, flour and other ingredient dusts
A questionnaire survey of 3,450 workers exposed to dust during the course of flour milling, bread baking, cake baking and other food preparation activities revealed that the overall prevalence of work-related asthmatic symptoms was 4.4%. In a sub-group of 128 workers with positive responses, non-specific respiratory irritation was thought to be the cause in 90 cases (2.6%), while sensitization was responsible for symptoms in 12 cases (0.3%). In the sensitization cases the agents responsible were fungal amylase, flour and grain. The principal sensitizer encountered in modern plant bakeries appears to be fungal amylase.
Occupational Medicine, Feb. 1996, Vol.46, No.1, p.37-40. 10 ref.
Lemiere C., et al.
Isolated late asthmatic reaction after exposure to a high-molecular-weight occupational agent, subtilisin
A case is reported of an asthmatic reaction that started after the first hour following exposure to subtilisin (maxatase), a high-molecular-weight occupational agent. The subject had been working in a hospital, washing surgical tools with a liquid containing the proteolytic enzyme subtilisin. Any occurrence of immediate reaction was ruled out by measuring the one-second forced expiratory volume and lung volumes every 10min during the first hour. Specific inhalation challenge with the diluted surgical cleanser containing the enzyme showed the reaction to be an IgE-mediated late asthmatic reaction.
Chest, Sept. 1996, Vol.110, No.3, p.823-824. Illus. 10 ref.
Górski P., Uliński S.
Effect of occupational exposure to opiates on the respiratory system
The possible mechanisms of the effects of opiates on the respiratory system are reviewed. The known pathophysiology of opiate effects is described, and results of studies on lung function in opiate-exposed workers are summarized. While some cases of bronchial asthma observed in these workers can be explained by the stimulation of opioid receptors in the central nervous system, the possibility of immunological reactions is also possible. Procedures for the diagnosis of opiate-induced asthma are described.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 1996, Vol.9, No.3, p.245-253. Illus. 48 ref.
Küpper H.U., Breitstadt R., Ulmer W.T.
Effects of exposure to carbon black dust on pulmonary function
Effekte der Carbon black-Feinstaubexposition auf die Lungenfunktion [in German]
No significant changes in pulmonary function could be found among 228 non-smokers and 120 ex-smokers with long-term exposure to carbon black in a petrochemical plant in Germany. Prevalence of obstructive airway diseases was not higher in the two groups than in 99 matched controls. However, pulmonary function tests of the 329 smokers among the exposed workers confirmed that smoking together with long-term exposure to carbon black dust produced a synergistic effect on lung function. No connection between long-term exposure to carbon black and bronchial hyperreactivity could be confirmed. For the workers participating in the study, the average dust concentrations to which they had been exposed were retrospectively calculated to range from 0.01 and 9.14mg/m3 for respirable carbon black fraction and from 1.08 to 19.95mg/m3 for total carbon black dust.
Arbeitsmedizin - Sozialmedizin - Umweltmedizin, May 1996, Vol.31, No.5, p.190-195. Illus. 23 ref.
Reactive airway dysfunction syndrome due to sodium azide inhalation
The need for sodium azide has increased considerably since its introduction as a propellant for the inflation of air bags in automobiles. This article is a case report on two young male workers, who were unloading drums of sodium azide powder when they accidentally inhaled the powder while cleaning up the material. Hypotension, nausea, vomiting and weakness were the symptoms experienced, followed by a persistent reactive airway dysfunction syndrome. It has been postulated that both sodium azide and hydrazoic acid contributed to the observed adverse effects.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Sep. 1996, Vol.68, No.6, p.469-471. 22 ref.
Kross B.C., et al.
Proportionate mortality study of golf course superintendents
A mortality study was carried out among 686 golf course superintendents who died between 1970 and 1992. These workers were exposed to a variety of hazards including pesticides. Results showed a significant excess mortality from smoking-related diseases, including arteriosclerotic heart disease and respiratory diseases such as lung cancer and emphysema. There were also increased levels of brain cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, cancer of the large intestine, prostrate cancer and diseases of the nervous and sensory systems. Preventive strategies such as smoking cessation programmes and precautions for the reduction of pesticide exposure are recommended.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 1996, Vol.29, No.5, p.501-506. 43 ref.
Rosenman K.D., Stanbury M.
Risk of lung cancer among former chromium smelter workers
A mortality study carried out on former workers at four chromate producing facilities showed an increased risk of lung cancer among both white and black workers. These risks increased with increasing duration of employment and latency since time of first employment. The risks of lung cancer for white men remained elevated more than 20 years after exposure had ceased. The risk for nasal cavity/sinus cancer was also increased, and a cluster of bladder cancer was seen among black workers from one facility. The ongoing elevated risk of lung cancer after cessation of exposure emphasizes the need for developing early detection tests for this disease.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 1996, Vol.29, No.5, p.491-500. 13 ref.
Steenland K., et al.
Review of occupational lung carcinogens
The epidemiology of occupational lung cancer is reviewed, focusing on agents identified as pulmonary carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer: silica, asbestos, diesel engine exhaust, radon progeny, arsenic, acrylonitrile, chromium, beryllium, nickel and cadmium. Estimates of overall relative risks and numbers of exposed workers are derived. It is estimated that approximately 9,000-10,000 men and 900-1,900 women develop lung cancer annually in the USA following past exposure to occupational carcinogens; more than half of these cancers are due to asbestos. Current estimates reflect past high exposures and are likely to drop in the future, unless other occupational carcinogens are confirmed or new ones are introduced into the workplace.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 1996, Vol.29, No.5, p.474-490. 169 ref.
Rocskay A.Z., et al.
Respiratory health in asbestos-exposed ironworkers
A study of 547 asbestos-exposed ironworkers included chest x-rays, pulmonary function testing, physical examination and a medical questionnaire. Asbestos exposure was assessed from union pension records. The study group exhibited an increased prevalence of small irregular opacities, pleural plaques, and pleural thickening on chest x-ray, reduced forced expiratory flow and respiratory symptoms. After controlling for the effect of cigarette smoking and age, years since joining the ironworkers union were significantly associated with profusion, pleural thickening, pleural plaques, reduced pulmonary function and dyspnoea.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 1996, Vol.29, No.5, p.459-466. 36 ref.
Rossignol M., Seguin P., DeGuire L.
Evaluation of the utility of spirometry in a regional public health screening program for workers exposed to welding fumes
Pulmonary questionnaires and spirometric tests were administered twice at five yearly intervals to 229 welders/cutters from 31 metal manufacturing plants. Results of the first spirometric test suggested that a high lifetime exposure to welding fumes was associated with better lung functions (healthy worker effect). Investigation of the average annual change in spirometric values between the two screenings revealed no association between lung function and exposure to welding fumes. It is recommended that the screening programme should be restricted to administration of the questionnaire, while spirometry should be reserved for diagnostic purposes in workers with reported respiratory problems.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 1996, Vol.38, No.12, p.1259-1263. 29 ref.
Alexander B.H., Checkoway H., Wechsler L., Heyer N.J., Muhm J.M., O'Keeffe T.P.
Lung cancer in chromate-exposed aerospace workers
A retrospective cohort study investigated the risk of lung cancer in 2429 chromium-exposed aerospace workers with a minimum of six months' employment between 1974 and 1994. Estimates of cumulative exposure to hexavalent chromium were based on industrial hygiene and work-history data. Overall, no increased risk of lung cancer was observed. Although based on few cases, an elevated lung cancer risk was found in subjects who had worked for five years or more as a chrome plater, surface processor tank tender, sander/masker or polisher. Limitations of the study are discussed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 1996, Vol.38, No.12, p.1253-1258. 17 ref.
Beckett W.S., Pace P.E., Sferlazza S.J., Perlman G.D., Chen A.H., Xu X.P.
Airway reactivity in welders: A controlled prospective cohort study
In an across-workshift study of 49 welders (symptom questionnaires and spirometry), the aggregate number of respiratory symptoms reported during the day was low; maximal midexpiratory flow rate declined reversibly during the day, whereas 1-second forced expiratory volume and forced vital capacity were unchanged. In a 3 year study of 51 welders and 54 non-welder control subjects, respiratory symptoms, spirometry and methacholine reactivity were measured annually. Welders had significantly more reversible work-related symptoms of cough, phlegm, wheeze and chest tightness than the controls. No evidence for chronic irreversible effects on spirometry or airway reactivity was seen over the 3 years of observation.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 1996, Vol.38, No.12, p.1229-1238. 26 ref.
Akbar-Khanzadeh F., Rivas R.D.
Exposure to isocyanates and organic solvents, and pulmonary-function changes in workers in a polyurethane molding process
Short-term changes in pulmonary function were determined in a group of urethane mould operators exposed to isocyanates and solvents, and in a control group of nonexposed workers. Measured concentrations of airborne chemicals, including hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) monomer and HDI polyisocyanate, were below recommended exposure criteria; no daily or weekly reduction in pulmonary function was observed. In a long-term study (2.5 years), isocyanate/solvent exposed subjects showed significant reduction in forced vital capacity and expiratory volume in 1 second. No such changes were observed in the non-exposed subjects or in those exposed only to organic solvents. Long-term exposure to isocyanates, even in very low concentrations, may contribute to impaired pulmonary function.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 1996, Vol.38, No.12, p.1205-1212. 36 ref.
Lasfargues G., Lavandier M.
Respiratory disorders induced by exposure to hard metal dust
Affections respiratoires liées à l'exposition aux poussières de métaux durs [in French]
Cemented carbides are alloys produced by processes of powder metallurgy successively combining compression and cementing from tungsten carbide powder using cobalt powder as binder. Exposure to cemented carbide dust causes various respiratory, bronchial or parenchymatous diseases. This data sheet reviews pathologies induced by such exposure: irritative syndrome; asthma; hypersensitivity pneumopathy; diffuse interstitial fibrosis of the lungs; bronchopulmonary cancer; other; compensation and prevention in France; air monitoring and biomonitoring of exposures (ACGIH TLV-TWA for cobalt recently reduced from 50 to 20µ/m3); medical surveillance of workers exposure to cemented carbides dust.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 3rd Quarter 1996, No.112, 7p. Illus. 117 ref.
Effects of a hydrochloric acid spill on neurobehavioral and pulmonary function
Neurobehavioural and pulmonary function tests were carried out on 45 adults 20 months after exposure to hydrochloric acid fumes leaking from a container truck. They also completed health questionnaires and a profile of mood states. Compared to a control group, exposed subjects showed impairment of reaction time and body balance and diminished scores in other neurobehavioural tests. In addition, symptoms were much more frequent in exposed individuals. Proximity to the spill increased sway speeds and impaired pulmonary midflow rates. The results indicate chronic behavioural dysfunction and airways obstruction following environmental exposure to hydrochloric acid fumes.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 1996, Vol.38, No.10, p.1018-1025. 31 ref.
Yokota K., Joyama Y., Yamaguchi K., Fijiki Y., Takeshita T., Morimoto K.
Study on allergic rhinitis in workers exposed to methyltetrahydrophthalic anhydride
Methyltetrahydrophthalic anhydride (MTHPA) is used as a hardening agent in an epoxy resin system. Because work-related nasal symptoms were observed in some workers exposed to MTHPA at two condenser plants, a cross-sectional survey was performed to improve their work environment. Mean MTHPA levels in the manufacturing processes to which the workers were routinely assigned were extremely low (1.09-22.4µg/m3). However, specific IgE antibody (S-IgE) was detected in 9 (32%) of 28 workers. Of these, 8 (89%) had nasal symptoms. An IgE-mediated mechanism seems to be associated with at least some of the cases of work-related nasal symptoms. This indicates that the occupational health administration of MTHPA cannot be controlled simply by limiting exposure in the work environment. Total IgE (T-IgE) levels averaged 200.5 units/mL in S-IgE-positive workers and 51.3 units/mL in S-IgE-negative workers. This implies that workers in whom the T-IgE level is 80 IU/mL or less should be assigned to work in these manufacturing processes.
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, Oct. 1996, Vol.1, No.3, p.133-135. Illus. 10 ref.
Kishimoto T., Fujioka H., Oke M., Onoshi T.
Case of calcified pleural plaque induced by asbestos exposure complicated with gastric cancer, asbestos pleurisy and malignant pleural mesothelioma
Sekimen bakuro ni yoru sekkai ka kyōmaku purāku keika kansatsu chū ni igan, sekimen kyōsui, akusei kyōmaku chūhishu wo gappei shita ichi shōrei [in Japanese]
A 84-year-old male had a history of asbestos exposure for 35 years as a electrician in shipyard beginning in 1929. Calcified pleural plaque was detected in chest X-rays in 1991. In 1992, he had early gastric cancer 62 years from the first exposure of asbestos; asbestos-induced pleurisy and malignant pleural mesothelioma occurred after 64 years. The gastric cancer was successfully treated by operation and the malignant mesothelioma by radiation. There should be careful follow-up of cases with pleural plaque in chest X-rays, because malignancy can appear for these cases 60 years after first exposure to asbestos.
Japanese Journal of Traumatology and Occupational Medicine, 10 Jan. 1996, Vol.44, No.7, p.464-468. Illus. 13 ref.
Sjögren B., Carstensen J., Hörte L.G., Plato N.
Occupation and pulmonary emphysema
In the Swedish National Census of 1960, all employed men born between 1901 and 1920 were identified and classified into 36 broad occupational groups. When this census was linked with the Register on Causes of Death 1961-1970, the only occupational group showing an increased mortality due to pulmonary emphysema, after adjusting for smoking habits, was the agricultural, horticultural and forestry management group. Microorganisms and endotoxins in the farming environment may play a causative role in the incidence of this disease.
Central European Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 1996, Vol.2, No.4, p.379-386. 21 ref.
Occupational respiratory diseases in Hungary - Some experiences in the last 40 years
This review examines changes and trends in the incidence, diagnostic methods and clinical manifestations of the most important occupational respiratory diseases in Hungary during the last 40 years: silicosis, asbestosis, lung cancer, organic dust diseases, occupational asthma, and industrial bronchitis.
Central European Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 1996, Vol.2, No.4, p.309-316. 13 ref.
Capron J.L., Rozec P., Weber M., Leroyer C., Dewitte J.D.
Compensation of occupational asthma in European countries
La réparation des asthmes professionnels dans l'Union européenne [in French]
The low rate of claims for occupational asthma in France is linked to undercompensation. For this reason, compensation systems within the European Union (EU) were compared. A detailed questionnaire sent to social and labour organizations provided most of the data. Compensation for occupational asthma is available in all EU countries, except the Netherlands, provided that the disease is considered on the official list or proven to be work-related. Differences between eight countries about indemnities are illustrated by a concrete case concerning a worker with a 50% disability occupational asthma. Disability indemnities are expressed in E.C.U., first as raw figures, then according to purchase power and finally according to the countries' wealth. Differences noted are prejudicial for the EU. These data underline the need for harmonizing workers' rights within the EU.
Archives des maladies professionnelles et de médecine du travail, Sep. 1996, Vol.57, No.5, p.329-336. 17 ref.
Takkouche B., Gestal-Otero J.J.
The epidemiology of lung cancer: Review of risk factors and Spanish data
Risk factors of lung cancer with an emphasis on Spanish and European data are reviewed. In Spain, though lung cancer incidence rates are much lower than in Europe in general (especially for women), lung cancer mortality increased much more rapidly for men than for women between the 1950s and 1980s. This trend can be explained by tobacco consumption, which remains the major risk factor for lung cancer. Occupational radon and asbestos exposures are other factors, though not as important. Genetic factors could also play an aetiologic role.
European Journal of Epidemiology, Aug. 1996, Vol.12, p.341-349. Illus. 99 ref.
Wegman D.H., Fine L.J.
Occupational and environmental medicine
Recent developments in selected areas of occupational and environmental medicine are briefly reviewed: work-related asthma (causes, changing individual susceptibility, and problems of diagnosis and compensation); low back pain (contribution of work and nonwork factors, use of back belts, and rehabilitation of affected workers); and the association between body burden of lead and delinquent behaviour.
Journal of the American Medical Association, 19 June 1996, Vol.275, No.23, p.1831-1832. 23 ref.
Zuskin E., Schachter E.N., Mustajbegovic J., Kern J., Bradic V.
Respiratory findings in workers not exposed to air pollutants
In a study of 806 workers not exposed to any known air pollutants, prevalences of chronic respiratory symptoms were similar to those reported in community-based populations, with smokers experiencing more symptoms than nonsmokers. Acute symptoms during the work shift were reported only by smokers. Baseline lung function measurements were similar to those expected in community populations; across-shift increases observed in ventilatory capacity tests probably reflected normal diurnal variation. The finding that unexposed workers had similar respiratory findings to community populations suggests that the high symptom prevalences noted in workers exposed to air pollutants are the result of this exposure and are not confounded by work-related effects.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 1996, Vol.38, No.9, p.912-919. 35 ref.
Simpson C., Garabrant D., Torrey S., Robins T., Franzblau A.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis-like reaction and occupational asthma associated with 1,3-bis(isocyanatomethyl) cyclohexane pre-polymer
Twenty three of 34 workers who had worked in the injection moulding operation making polyurethane foam parts at an automobile manufacturing plant developed respiratory symptoms and/or systemic symptoms over a 2-month period following the full production use of a new diisocyanate paint that contained 1,3-bis(isocyanatomethyl)cyclohexane pre-polymer (BIC). At 3 months, all subjects underwent an interview, physical examination, pre- and post-shift pulmonary function tests and either methacholine challenge test or bronchodilator challenge. The most frequently cited symptoms were dyspnoea, cough, chest tightness, chills, wheezing and myalgias, arthralgias and nausea. Thirteen subjects had either a positive methacholine challenge test or a positive response to bronchodilator challenge, making the overall prevalence of airway hyperresponsiveness 38%. The overall prevalence of hypersensitivity pneumonitis-like reactions among line operators in the injection moulding process was 27%. The results suggest that BIC may cause asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis-like reactions.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 1996, Vol.30, No.1, p.48-55. 26 ref.
Meijers J.M.M, Swaen G.M.H., Slangen J.J.M.
Mortality and lung cancer in ceramic workers in the Netherlands: Preliminary results
A retrospective cohort study in 1794 male ceramic workers in the Netherlands was carried out to analyze the lung cancer risk in relation to crystalline silica exposure and silicosis. They had all been employed for two years or longer in ceramic industries between 1972 and 1982. During a health survey, 124 cases of simple pneumoconiosis were diagnosed. After 14 years of follow-up, 161 deaths had occurred. No increased overall and cause-specific mortality was found in the total group of ceramic workers and a statistically significant cumulative dose-response relation for silica exposure and lung cancer did not emerge. An excess lung cancer mortality appeared among workers with simple pneumoconiosis. The authors conclude that the disease process resulting in silicosis in the ceramic industry carries an increased risk of lung cancer, which is supportive of a nongenotoxic pathway.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 1996, Vol.30, No.1, p.26-30. 27 ref.
Kreiss K., Mroz M.M., Newman L.S., Martyny J., Zhen B.
Machining risk of beryllium disease and sensitization with median exposures below 2µg/m3
The prevalence of beryllium sensitization in relation to work process and beryllium exposure measurements was examined in a beryllia ceramics plant that had operated since 1980. 97.8% of the workforce was interviewed, beryllium sensitization was ascertained with the beryllium lymphocyte proliferation blood test and historical industrial hygiene measurements were reviewed. Of eight beryllium-sensitized employees, six had granulomatous disease on transbronchial lung biopsy. Machinists had a sensitization rate of 14.3% compared to a rate of 1.2% among other employees. Daily weighted average (DWA) estimates of exposure for machining processes also exceeded estimates for other work processes in that time period, with a median DWA of 0.9µg/m3. Machining process DWAs accounted for the majority of DWAs exceeding the 2.0µg/m3 OSHA standard, with 8.1% of machining DWAs above the standard. It is concluded that lowering machining process-related exposures may be important in the lowering of risk of developing beryllium disease.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 1996, Vol.30, No.1, p.16-25. 11 ref.
Xu Z., Morris Brown L., Pan G.W., Liu T.F., Gao G.S., Stone B.J., Cao R.M., Guan D.X., Sheng J.H., Yan Z.S., Dosemeci M., Fraumeni J.F., Blot W.J.
Cancer risks among iron and steel workers in Anshan, China, Part II: Case-control studies of lung and stomach cancer
Nested case-control interview studies of lung cancer, stomach cancer and controls were conducted to follow leads from a proportional mortality analysis of deaths among male workers in a large integrated iron-steel complex in Anshan, China (see CIS 97-506). After adjusting for non-occupational risk factors, the risk of lung cancer was significantly higher for those employed for 15 or more years in smelting and rolling, in the manufacturing of fire-resistant bricks, in general loading and as coke oven workers. The risk of stomach cancer was significantly higher for those employed for 15 or more years in ore sintering and transportation, in the manufacturing of fire-resistant bricks, in general loading, as boiler workers and cooks and as coke oven workers. For both lung and stomach cancers, significant dose-response gradients were observed for exposure to total dust and benzo(a)pyrene. Overall, long-term steel workers with exposure to workplace pollutants had a 40% increased risk of both lung and stomach cancers.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 1996, Vol.30, No.1, p.7-15. 32 ref.
Wang Z., Dong D., Liang X., Qu G., Wu J., Xu X.
Cancer mortality among silicotics in China's metallurgical industry
A retrospective cohort study of lung cancer among silicotics in the Chinese metallurgical industry was conducted on 4372 male subjects. Significant excess lung cancer mortality risk was observed among silicotics in all occupational categories. A more than twofold excess lung cancer risk was reported among both smoking and non-smoking silicotics.
International Journal of Epidemiology, 1996, Vol.25, No.5, p.913-917. 14 ref.
Banks D.E., Tarlo S.M., Masri F., Rando R.J., Weissman D.N.
Bronchoprovocation tests in the diagnosis of isocyanate-induced asthma
This study reviews work performed over the past 25 years to improve the approach to non-irritant exposures for the accurate diagnosis of isocyanate-induced asthma. Although the technology used in testing has become more sophisticated, the requirements of the physician have remained unchanged. Direct physician involvement in the testing procedure remains critical to the worker's safety and for the accurate diagnosis of isocyanate-induced asthma.
Chest, May 1996, Vol. 109, No. 5, p.1370-1379. Illus. 33 ref.
Pulmonary abnormalities and serum immunoglobulins in facsimile machine repair technicians exposed to butyl methacrylate fume
Seven repair technicians, repeatedly exposed to facsimile machine fume, developed recurring sore throat, fever, lymphadenopathy, chest tightness, dry cough and dyspnoea. The fume contained butyl methacrylate (BMA), a known skin sensitizer. Chest radiographs were normal, but three of the seven workers had lung crackles and spirometric abnormalities and increased serum levels of immunoglobulins IgE or IgM. Symptoms and most other abnormalities improved when exposure to BMA was stopped. Workers at two other sites were later evaluated. Six of them had daily contact with BMA fume. All had elevated serum IgE levels. Four had lung crackles, which cleared after substitution of a BMA-free paper, but IgE levels remained high. Twelve other staff members without fume exposure served as controls. The significance of the IgE elevations is uncertain. BMA was eliminated from the facsimile transceiver process. In a third group of workers (n=32), with no symptoms, IgE concentrations were elevated in 15 and remained so for 21 months, perhaps because of continuing exposure to residual low levels of BMA.
Chest, Apr.1996, Vol.109, No. 4, p.1010-1018. Illus. 25 ref.
Blanc P.D., Cisternas M., Smith S., Yelin E.H.
Asthma, employment status, and disability among adults treated by pulmonary and allergy specialists
The objective of this cross-sectional survey was to identify risk factors for work disability among adults with asthma treated by pulmonary and allergy specialists. 601 patients were studied by means of computer-assisted, telephone-administered structured interviews carried out by a trained survey specialist. Asthma severity, perceived general health status, quality of life, demographics, and work history were assessed. Complete work disability defined as total work cessation attributed to asthma was reported by 40 patients; partial work disability, defined as change in job, duties, or reduction in work hours, was reported by 53 of 550 subjects. The conclusions were: work disability is common among adults with asthma receiving specialist care. Severity of disease is a powerful predictor, but not the sole predictor of disability in this group. Working conditions, including job-related chemical exposures, are associated with added disability risk, even after taking illness severity into account.
Chest, Mar. 1996, Vol.109, No.3, p.688-696. 40 ref.
Champney M.R., Stallones L., Blehm K.D., Tucker A., Merchant D.
A survey of respiratory symptoms in a farming population in northeastern Colorado
A cross-sectional study of respiratory symptoms among farm residents in Colorado, USA involved personal interview, an industrial hygiene evaluation, and pulmonary function testing. The calculated prevalence rate of reduced pulmonary function was 12.7 per 100. Significant associations were found between specific job tasks, smoking, age and duration of involvement in agriculture. Respiratory dysfunction was more strongly associated with cigarette smoking than with any other characteristic of the farm population. The use of questionnaires to correctly identify decreased pulmonary function was of limited value.
Journal of Agromedicine, 1996, Vol.3, No.3, p.47-57. 14 ref.
Erlam A.R., Johnson A.J., Wiley K.N.
Occupational asthma in greenhouse tomato growing
An employee in a commercial tomato growing greenhouse developed asthma of increasing severity over a period of eight years. Occupational asthma was diagnosed. Initial allergy testing was negative, but further investigation of the workplace gave rise to suspicion of arthropod allergy. Immunological testing confirmed sensitization to red spider mite.
Occupational Medicine, Apr. 1996, Vol.46, No.2, p.163-164. 9 ref.
Grammer L.C., Shaughnessy M.A.
Study of employees with anhydride-induced respiratory disease after removal from exposure
A 4-year surveillance study was conducted on 28 workers who had developed an immunologic respiratory disease following exposure to hexahydrophthalic anhydride and who had been removed from exposure for at least one year. Diseases included asthma, haemorrhagic rhinitis and allergic rhinitis. Clinical evaluation and immunologic studies showed that none of the individuals with haemorrhagic rhinitis or allergic rhinitis had symptoms or physical findings of their original diagnosis at follow-up. Only one employee was on medication for mild asthma, and no employee had spirometry consistent with asthma at follow-up. There was also a general decline in antibody levels at follow-up.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 1996, Vol.38, No.8, p.771-774. 21 ref.
Callas P.W., Pastides H., Hosmer D.W., Sterling T.D., Weinkam J.J.
Lung cancer mortality among workers in formaldehyde industries
Data from a National Cancer Institute (USA) study of workers exposed to formaldehyde are reanalyzed and discrepancies between this and earlier analyses are discussed. Despite different types of analysis and data management choices, most studies conducted using this dataset have found a similar pattern of results: a small, usually nonsignificant, elevated risk of lung cancer for some subsets of workers exposed to formaldehyde, but no clear dose-response relationship across cumulative exposure categories. A response by earlier researchers agrees with this conclusion and emphasizes the dubious role of confidence intervals and significance testing in scientific decision making.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 1996, Vol.38, No.8, p.747-750. 28 ref.
Miller A.B., To T., Agnew D.A., Wall C., Green L.M.
Leukemia following occupational exposure to 60-Hz electric and magnetic fields among Ontario electric utility workers
Report on a nested case-control study of 1,484 cancer cases and 2,179 matched controls from a cohort of 31,543 Ontario Hydro (electrical utility for the province of Ontario, Canada) male employees. Associations of cancer risk with electric field exposure were evaluated and compared with previously reported findings for magnetic fields. Pensioners and active workers were followed for 18 years and 15 years, respectively. Exposures to electric and magnetic fields and to potential occupational confounders (such as ionizing radiation and known carcinogens) were estimated through job exposure matrices. Odds ratios were elevated for haematopoietic malignancies (all leukaemias) with cumulative electric field exposure. For cumulative magnetic field exposure, there were similar elevations. Evaluation of the combined effect of electric and magnetic fields for leukaemia showed significant elevations of risk for high exposure to both, with a dose-response relation for increasing exposure to electric fields and an inconsistent effect for magnetic fields. There was some evidence of a nonsignificant association for brain cancer and benign brain tumours with magnetic fields. For lung cancer, the odds ratio for high exposure to electric and magnetic fields was 1.84 (95% CI 0.69-4.94).
American Journal of Epidemiology, July 1996, Vol.144, No.2, p.150-160. 33 ref.
Alberts W.M., do Pico G.A.
Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome
This review outlines the condition known as reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), which has been recognized in recent years as a distinct subset of occupational nonimmunologic asthma. It may be induced by different irritants (e.g. frequently by tolylene diisocyanate). The diagnostic criteria are reported together with several published cases of patients with RADS. The epidemiology, controversial aspects, pathology and mechanisms of this syndrome are also discussed.
Chest, June 1996, Vol.109, No.6, p.1618-1626. 72 ref.
Lemière C., Cloutier Y., Perrault G., Drolet D., Cartier A., Malo J.L.
Closed-circuit apparatus for specific inhalation challenges with an occupational agent, formaldehyde, in vapor form
Since occupational agents responsible for asthma are frequently present in the workplace as vapours, an apparatus was developed for bronchial provocation tests on subjects exposed to formaldehyde and other chemicals in vapour form. This apparatus was assessed in four subjects suspected of having formaldehyde-induced asthma or alveolitis. The instrument consists of four parts: a gas generator, an exposure chamber, a monitor and an automated regulatory system. The concentrations of formaldehyde were increased from 0.5-1mg/m3 to 3mg/m3, without overshooting the concentration of 3mg/m3 (STEL in Canada). It was observed that target concentrations took a few minutes to be reached, but, once they were obtained, delivered concentrations were stable. The described method should be further validated and extended to other occupational agents.
Chest, June 1996, Vol.109, No.6, p.1631-1635. Illus. 17 ref.
Health problems associated with hardwood dust
A range of detrimental effects of hardwood dust is reported in this review. These effects include: skin allergies, respiratory tract changes (impairment of nasal clearance and asthma), cancers (sino-nasal cancers, possibly ethmoidal bone cancer, Hodgkin's disease, lung cancer and leukaemia), poisonings (a list of toxic effects by wood species is given) etc. The need for appropriate preventive measures, including the wearing of respiratory protective equipment, is emphasized. A personal sampling device of wood dusts is described.
Safety and Health Practitioner, July 1996, Vol.14, No.7, p.21-25. Illus. 24 ref.
Pairon J.C., Brochard P.
Occupational bronchopulmonary cancers
Cancers bronchopulmonaires professionnels [in French]
Occupational cancers represent a significant proportion of cancers (since 1981, estimated to be between 2 et 8% of all cancers). Among all sites, bronchopulmonary cancer (BPC) is the most frequent worldwide (10.4% of all cancers), with several aetiological factors identified. This type of cancer still affects more men than women and smoking remains by far the most important factor although many occupational determinants have been identified. According to some authors, 10 to 15% of primary bronchial cancers are occupational in origin, i.e. between 3,000 and 4,000 cases annually in France. According to a review of case-control studies, risks of this pathology attributable to occupation are between 1 and 40%, depending on the study. A more recent study evaluates the "specific" portion of occupational factors to probably less than 10% of all BPC cases. The significance of this disease in terms of public health as well as its prevention are highlighted.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 1st Quarter 1996, No.110, 10p. 92 ref.
Backman K.S., Shaughnessy M.A., Harris K.E., Grammer L.C.
Total serum IgE in trimellitic anhydride-induced asthma
Trimellitic anhydride (TMA), widely used in the manufacture of plastics and paints, has been implicated in multiple occupational immunologic syndromes. Sera from 12 highly exposed workers with TMA induced asthma and from 31 similarly exposed workers without occupational immunologic disease were assayed for total immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels. The mean IgE levels were 176.74ng/mL and 34.55ng/mL, respectively, but considerable overlap of IgE levels was observed between the groups. Due to the significant amount of overlap and poor sensitivity of the test, it cannot be considered useful in the diagnosis of individual workers.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 1996, Vol.38, No.4, p.347-351. 29 ref.
Post W.K., Steyerberg E., Burdorf A., Heederik D., Kromhout D.
Choosing optimal values of FEV1 and FEV1/FVC for surveillance for respiratory disorders in occupational populations
The diagnostic performance of two spirometric parameters FEV1 and FEV1/FVC was evaluated by applying relative operating characteristics curves (ROCs) to data for a cohort gathered in 1965. Both parameters showed quite similar ROCs, with a maximal sensitivity of 40% at a specificity of 95% relative to the physician's diagnosis of respiratory disorder. The area under the curves indicated that misclassification of 25% of subjects was likely to occur. The determination of optimal cut-off points in relation to false-positive and false-negative results is discussed. The study illustrates the usefulness of decision analysis techniques in arriving at an optimal diagnosis.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 1996, Vol.38, No.7, p.673-680. Illus. 33 ref.
Boffetta P., Vainio H., Saracci R.
Epidemiology versus a smoke screen
This brief communication criticizes recent statements by the European tobacco industry that available epidemiological evidence does not support an association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and risk of lung cancer. An evaluation by a tobacco-financed group of experts in other scientific disciplines is criticized for its inaccurate interpretation of epidemiological studies. Evaluations by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) conclude that passive smoking gives rise to some risk of cancer.
Lancet, 10 Aug. 1996, Vol.348, No.9024, p.410. 4 ref.
Use of biomarkers to investigate occupational and environmental lung disorders
From a review of selected studies on occupational and environmental lung diseases (malignant and nonmalignant) the present difficulties in adding biomarkers (biological markers) to the tools for their investigation are discussed. An interdisciplinary approach, based on a matrix of biomarker combinations, is therefore proposed as the most suitable.
Chest, Mar. 1996, Vol.109, No.3 Supplement, p.9S-12S. Illus. 26 ref.
Occupational asthma and other respiratory diseases
This article is a synopsis of information on the medical aspects of occupational asthma and other work-related respiratory disorders. The estimated number of cases of these disorders in 1994 in the UK (3267) are reported and broken down by category. Major causes of occupational asthma and groups at risk are analyzed, with indications of the most common respiratory sensitizers in the workplace. Some sensitizers might not be immediately obvious: e.g. latex gloves. The diagnostic aspects and investigations to be performed on patients to identify specific causes are summarized. Pneumoconiosis, extrinsic allergic alveolitis and non-malignant and malignant disorders induced by asbestos are also presented. Finally, the relative frequency of inhalation accidents is discussed, although fatalities from exposure to gases in the workplace are now rare in Britain.
British Medical Journal, Aug. 1996, Vol.313, p.291-294. Illus. 2 ref.
Reijula K., Haahtela T., Klaukka T., Rantanen J.
Incidence of occupational asthma and persistent asthma in young adults has increased in Finland
To investigate the incidence of occupational asthma in Finland and its relationship to new cases of persistent asthma, data were collected from two national registers, which cover practically all new cases of both types of asthma. From 1986 to 1993, the annual incidence of persistent asthma in adults (from 15 to 64 years) increased from 6,645 to 8,056 (21%). The incidence of asthma in women increased from 3,302 to 4,717 (43%). In the age group of 15-29 the increase was 91%, in 30-49 it was 60% and in 50-64 the increase was 7%. Among men, in the age group of 15-29 it increased by 87%, in 30-49 by 46%, while a decrease of 43% was detected in the age group of 50-64 years. During the same period, the annual incidence of occupational asthma increased from 227 to 386 (70%), from 109 to 185 (70%) in women and from 118 to 201 (70%) in men. In 1993 the population in Finland in the age range from 15-64 was 2.026 million. Thus, the incidence of persistent asthma was 0.4%. The proportion of newly diagnosed occupational asthma out of all new cases of asthma was 4.8%.
Chest, July 1996, Vol.110, No.1, p.58-61. Illus. 14 ref.
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