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Health effects of exposure to wood dust. A summary of the literature.

Tatken RL
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1987 Jun; :1-164
A comprehensive literature survey on the health effects of wood dust exposure was presented. The nature and properties of wood were discussed. Occupational exposure and recommended standards for exposure to wood dust were considered. Reports on in-vivo and in- vitro studies were reviewed. These have shown that certain extracts of beech and ash are weak mutagens in in-vitro systems. Use of cedar bedding materials has been associated with an increased incidence of mammary and liver tumors in three susceptible strains of C3H-mice. However, these effects have not been reproduced in other studies. Only three inhalation studies were reported. These have shown that inflammatory changes, lung abscesses, and bronchial pneumonia are induced by cedar, pine, and fir bark dusts, although no evidence of carcinogenicity was seen. Reports on human health effects from wood dust exposure were discussed. These have indicated that a wide variety of wood species cause irritant allergic dermatitis. In some cases, quinones and quinols have been indicated as the sensitizing agents. Wood dusts have caused various asthmatic reactions, nasal dryness, irritation, bleeding, obstruction, coughing, wheezing, sneezing, sinusitis, and prolonged colds. Epidemiological studies and case reports have established a definite association between nasal cancer and wood dust exposure. Data regarding possible associations between wood dust and lung cancer and Hodgkin's disease have been contradictory. Wood dust concentration data obtained in the workplace were tabulated. Wood dust control technology was reviewed.
NIOSH-Author; Occupational-exposure; Wood-dusts; Epidemiology; In-vivo-studies; In-vitro-studies; Nasal-cancer; Allergic-reactions; Industrial-dermatoses; Contact-dermatitis; Laboratory-animals
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Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division