Symptoms, ventilatory function, and environmental exposures in Portland cement workers.
Abrons HL; Petersen MR; Sanderson WT; Engelberg AL; Harber P
Br J Ind Med 1988 Jun; 45(6):368-375
A study of respiratory symptoms and ventilatory function in Portland- cement (65997151) workers was conducted. The cohort consisted of 2736 workers employed in 16 Portland-cement factories (SIC-3241). The mean length of exposure was 10.9 years. The comparisons consisted of 755 workers in ten factories in noncement industries. The subjects were administered spirometric tests and completed a NIOSH version of the British Medical Research Council respiratory symptom questionnaire. Personal air samples were collected and analyzed for total and respirable dust and quartz (14808607). Geometric mean respirable and total dust concentrations were 0.57 and 2.90mg/m3. Quartz was detected in 14.4 percent of the samples and the median concentration was 0.079mg/m3. Dust levels exceeding current or recommended standards were found in 5 percent of respirable dust samples and 19 percent of total dust samples. Cement workers had a significantly increased prevalence of dyspnea relative to comparisons, 5.4 versus 2.7 percent. This was not affected by smoking. No significant differences in the prevalence of other respiratory symptoms between the cohort and comparisons were observed. The mean values of the spirometric variables did not differ significantly between the cement workers and comparisons. For cement workers with respirable dust exposure, the prevalence of chronic phlegm was positively correlated with length of service (exposure). For cement workers exposed to total dust, the prevalence of wheezing was positively correlated with dust concentration and length of exposure. These associations were not affected by smoking. The authors conclude that a close relationship between dust exposure in cement factories in the United States and respiratory symptoms or impairment has not been found.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Pulmonary-function; Pulmonary-function-tests; Tobacco-smoke; Industrial-hygiene; Dust-exposure; Clinical-symptoms; Cement-industry
British Journal of Industrial Medicine