The Effects of Silica Dust Exposure on Small Airways.
Jardim-JR; Bagatin-E; Nery-LE; Novo-NF; Juliano-Y
NIOSH 1990 Sep:777-780
The effects of silica (14808607) on the small airways of ceramic workers were examined. The cohort consisted of 46 nonsmoking Brazilian ceramics workers, mean age 48.3 years who had been diagnosed with silicosis on the basis of their chest X-rays and history of occupational exposure to silica dust. Pulmonary function testing that included simple spirometry and expiratory flow measurements was performed. The chest X-rays were read for small opacities using the 1980 International Labour Organization (ILO) classification system. The subjects inhaled fenoterol to examine its effects on pulmonary function. Twenty five subjects had a predominance of ILO category 1/1 small opacities, 13 had 2/2 category opacities, and eight had 3/3 category opacities. Twenty seven subjects had a predominance of p/p type small opacities. Thirty seven subjects had normal spirometry. Eleven had spirometric values indicative of an obstructive or restrictive impairment. The proportion of subjects with abnormal maximal expiratory flow volume curves was significantly greater than those with normal air flow curves, 71.7 versus 28.3%. Twenty four subjects with normal spirometry had abnormal air flow curves. Pulmonary function was improved in 27 of 44 subjects after they inhaled fenoterol. The prevalence of radiographic small opacities was not correlated with the pulmonary function test data or the pulmonary response to fenoterol. The authors conclude that a significant proportion of the ceramics workers have airflow obstruction.
Epidemiology; Silica-dusts; Occupational-exposure; Pulmonary-function-tests; Airway-obstruction; Ceramics-industry; Chest-X-rays; Occupational-respiratory-disease;
Proceedings of the VIIth International Pneumoconioses Conference