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Respiratory symptoms among crab processing workers in Alaska: epidemiological and environmental assessment.

Authors
Ortega-HG; Daroowalla-F; Petsonk-EL; Lewis-D; Berardinelli-S Jr.; Jones-W; Kreiss-K; Weissman-DN
Source
Am J Ind Med 2001 Jun; 39(6):598-607
NIOSHTIC No.
20021826
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Crab processing workers may develop respiratory symptoms and specific IgE responses, but the risk factors have not been fully described. METHODS: In 1998, 107 workers at a crab processing facility completed a survey both at the beginning and end of the processing season. The surveys included standardized symptom questionnaires, spirometry, and serological testing, as well as measurement of workplace airborne crab allergens and microscopic analysis of aerosolized materials. RESULTS: Over the crab processing season, asthma-like symptoms developed in 26% of study participants and bronchitic symptoms in 19%. Only 9% of those with new asthma-like symptoms were IgE-sensitized to crab at the end of the season. Among the crab processing jobs, butchering and degilling workers had the highest incidence of respiratory symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Both personal and process-related factors appear to affect the development of respiratory symptoms in crab processing workers. In this study, crab specific IgE was not detected in most of the workers with new symptoms.
Keywords
Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiratory-irritants; Allergic-reactions; Aerosol-particles; Microscopic-analysis; Food-processing-workers; Food-handlers; Food-processing
Contact
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505, USA
CODEN
AJIMD8
Publication Date
20010601
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
2001
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
6
ISSN
0271-3586
NIOSH Division
DRDS
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
WV; AK
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