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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality in diesel-exposed railroad workers.

Authors
Hart-EJ; Laden-F; Schenker-BM; Garshick-E
Source
Environ Health Perspect 2006 Jul; 114(7):1013-1017
NIOSHTIC No.
20032354
Abstract
Diesel exhaust is a mixture of combustion gases and ultrafine particles coated with organic compounds. There is concern whether exposure can result in or worsen obstructive airway diseases, but there is only limited information to assess this risk. U.S. railroad workers have been exposed to diesel exhaust since diesel locomotives were introduced after World War II, and by 1959, 95% of the locomotives were diesel. We conducted a case-control study of railroad worker deaths between 1981 and 1982 using U.S. Railroad Retirement Board job records and next-of-kin smoking, residential, and vitamin use histories. There were 536 cases with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 1,525 controls with causes of death not related to diesel exhaust or fine particle exposure. After adjustment for age, race, smoking, U.S. Census region of death, vitamin use, and total years off work, engineers and conductors with diesel-exhaust exposure from operating trains had an increased risk of COPD mortality. The odds of COPD mortality increased with years of work in these jobs, and those who had worked = 16 years as an engineer or conductor after 1959 had an odds ratio of 1.61 (95% confidence interval, 1.12-2.30). These results suggest that diesel-exhaust exposure contributed to COPD mortality in these workers. Further study is needed to assess whether this risk is observed after exposure to exhaust from later-generation diesel engines with modern emission controls.
Keywords
Pulmonary-disorders; Pulmonary-function; Railroad-industry; Work-practices; Worker-health; Workers; Diesel-emissions; Diesel-exhausts; Combustion-gases; Particulates; Organic-compounds; Respiratory-irritants; Chronic-exposure; Chronic-inflammation; Pulmonary-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Nanotechnology
Contact
Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
CODEN
EVHPAZ
Publication Date
20060701
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
279815
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2006
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-CCR-115818
Issue of Publication
7
ISSN
0091-6765
Priority Area
Work Environment and Workforce: Mixed Exposures
Source Name
Environmental Health Perspectives
State
MA; CA
Performing Organization
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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