Respiratory illness in the construction industry. Airflow obstruction among painters.
Chest 1988 Jan; 93(1):134-137
The theory that painters may be at increased risk of developing respiratory impairment was investigated through a comparison of the respiratory status of 118 construction painters to a previously tested population of 314 construction sheet metal workers. While the two groups were of comparable age, the sheet metal workers tended to have been employed longer in their given trade than the painters. More nonsmokers were among the painter population. Work related exposures were documented for painters and included spray paint, asbestos (1332214), and welding fumes. Twenty seven percent of the painters were exposed to silica (7631869). Sheet metal workers had exposures to asbestos, sheet metal dust, and welding fumes. There were more frequent reports of prior respiratory system diagnoses among sheet metal workers including bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema. However, painters noted excess symptoms of cough, wheezing, and dyspnea. The authors conclude that painters are at increased risk for airflow obstruction and that this appears related to the duration of exposure to paint products. Painters who also smoke may be at risk of developing this obstructive process earlier than those who paint but do not also smoke.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Inhalants; Vapors; Dust-inhalation; Construction-workers; Paint-spraying; Pulmonary-function-tests; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Epidemiology
Physiology Department, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts