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Asbestos-associated disease among Boston area sheet metal workers.
Dagg-TG; Baker-EL Jr.
NIOSH 1982 Jan; :1-17
Sheet metal workers were evaluated with respect to lung function. Chest X-rays, pulmonary function tests, and medical questionnaires were administered to 314 sheet metal workers. The mean age of the 303 workers included in the sample was 47 years. There was little difference between the exposure groups in frequency of welding and the use of asbestos (1332214) insulation. Workers with 40 or more years of exposure had a higher prevalence of bronchitis and emphysema. There were 158 abnormal X-rays; 132 of these showed some pleural thickening; pleural plaques were found in 21; and calcification or opacities were present in the remainder. The prevalence of X-ray abnormality and bilateral pleural thickening increased with length of exposure. Pulmonary function was reduced in 56 workers, all of whom had been sheet metal workers for at least 10 years. Abnormality increased with years of exposure. The authors conclude that there is a considerable prevalence of asbestos related, pleural disease among sheet metal workers, including lung function impairment that increases with duration of employment. Pleural disease is an indicator of increased asbestos exposure that places the worker at risk for other asbestos related conditions.
NIOSH-Author; Workplace-studies; Toxic-effects; Sampling-methods; Pathogenesis; Worker-health; Physiological-response; Exposure-levels;
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