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Respiratory Morbidity in Smelter Workers Study.
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 1977 Jun:95 pages
An evaluation of the acute and chronic pulmonary effects of copper smelter exposure to sulfur-dioxide (7446095) (SO2) and airborne particulates was conducted. The project was organized into two studies; a cross sectional study and a prospective cohort study. All available smelter workers were tested by spirometry and a questionnaire to determine the prevalence of pulmonary function abnormalities and symptoms of respiratory disease. All available workers at a truck maintenance shop, operated by the same company, were used as controls. Smelter workers as a group were slightly taller, older, had less education, smoked more, and included fewer nonwhites than the control group. There was an overall trend for the smelter workers to have a greater percentage of both borderline and chronic respiratory disease (from questionnaire responses) than the controls. The smelter workers had more days off work with illness than had controls. Spirometry data showed that FVC and FEV1 decreased with increasing amount of smoking, and with increasing amount of time spent in the smelter. The drop in age and height adjusted FEV1 with years spent at smelter jobs was most marked between the 0.1 to 9.9 and 10 to 19.9 year smelter groups averaging 9.2% for heavy smokers and 4.8% for nonsmokers. Significant reduction of FVC and FEV1 and a corresponding increase in some symptoms of respiratory disease, as well as days off for illness was found to be associated with chronic exposure to SO2 in the 8 hr time weighted average range of 1 to 5mg/cubic meter (0.4 to 2ppm) accompanied by small amounts of other sulfur oxides and other particulates. This indicates a need for revising the occupational exposure standards for SO2.
NIOSH-Contract; Contract-099-72-0134; Oxides; Physiological-response; Health-hazards; Physiological-examinations; Respiratory-functions; Industrial-factory-workers; Refineries; Lung-ventilation; Morbidity;
NTIS Accession No.
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division