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Sulfur dioxide exposure in a smelter. III. Acute effects and sputum cytology.
Archer VE; Fullmer CD; Castle CH
J Occup Med 1979 May; 21(5):359-364
The acute pulmonary effects of sulfur-dioxide (7446095) (SO2) exposure were investigated. Workers from an unspecified copper smelter (SIC-3331) were given pulmonary function tests before and after a work shift, and produced sputum samples for cytologic evaluation. The comparison group included workers from a nearby mine repair shop. Mean decreases in forced expiratory volume in 1 second and forced vital capacity during the day were greater among the smelter workers than among the comparisons. More of the smelter workers also had decreases in median forced expiratory flowrate, and reported sensations of chest tightness. Sputum from the smelter workers contained a slightly greater percentage of samples with moderate or marked atypia, related to cigarette consumption and the number of years worked. The authors suggest that transient acute respiratory effects from SO2 may progress to chronic disorders if exposure is prolonged.
JOCMA7; NIOSH-Author; Pulmonary-function-tests; Cytology; Pulmonary-function; Smelters; Sputum-cytology; Occupational-health; Pulmonary-system-disorders
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational Medicine
Page last reviewed: December 18, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division