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Chronic effect of fire fighting on pulmonary function.
Peters JM; Theriault GP; Fine LJ; Wegman DH
N Engl J Med 1974 Dec; 291(25):1320-1322
In a clinical study, pulmonary function was studied in 1430 Boston fire fighters during the period 1970 to 1972. Questionnaire information on exposures, current respiratory symptoms and smoking habits was also collected. Forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second were measured on two occasions. The rate of loss in pulmonary function observed for the entire population was more than twice the expected rate (77 vs. 30 ml for forced vital capacity). These changes were significantly related to frequency of fire exposure (p less than 0.01) and could not be explained by differences in age, smoking habits or ethnic background. This study suggests that occupational exposures are contributing to chronic impairment of pulmonary function in fire fighters.
Epidemiology; Respiration; Lungs; Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting
Physiology Harvard Sch of Public Health 665 Huntington Avenue Boston, Mass 02115
Issue of Publication
New England Journal of Medicine
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: November 27, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division