Epidemiological-environmental study of lead acid battery workers : III. Chronic effects of sulfuric acid on the respiratory system and teeth.
Gamble-J; Jones-W; Hancock-J; Meckstroth-RL
Environ Res 1984 Oct; 35(1):30-52
The chronic effects of sulfuric-acid (7664939) on teeth and the respiratory system of workers in lead (7439921) acid battery factories were examined. Workers exposed to sulfuric-acid mist were given questionnaires. Chest radiograms were taken and teeth were examined for evidence of etching or erosion. Respiratory symptoms such as cough, phlegm, dyspnea, and wheezing showed no significant differences between factories or by amount of sulfuric-acid exposure. Teeth etching and erosion showed a very strong association with acid exposure. Etching developed in 4 months with an average daily exposure of 0.23 milligram per cubic meter. High sulfuric- acid exposure groups had reduced forced vital capacity. Mean pulmonary function was not related to average exposure. Those with respiratory symptoms tended to have reduced pulmonary function. There was no excess of industrial bronchitis in the sulfuric-acid exposed workers. The authors conclude that sulfuric-acid at low concentrations does not irritate the upper respiratory tract. The sulfuric-acid may cause dental changes, even when it is at a concentration below what is considered the recommended standard. (Part 3 of 3)
NIOSH-Author; Medical-surveys; Radiographic-analysis; Respiratory-irritants; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Dental-disorders; Industrial-chemicals; Employee-exposure; Biological-effects; Health-standards; Quantitative-analysis