Respiratory symptoms and lung function in hemp workers.
Zuskin-E; Kanceljak-B; Pokrajac-D; Schachter-EN; Witek-TJ Jr.
Br J Ind Med 1990 Sep; 47(9):627-632
An investigation of hemp workers was conducted to establish the current prevalence of respiratory symptoms in this industry and to better characterize abnormalities of ventilatory capacity in hemp workers. Two groups of female hemp workers employed in two different mills (46 in mill-A, 38 in mill-B), and a group of 27 male hemp workers employed in mill-A were included in the investigation. The analysis of lung function indicated that exposure to hemp dust was associated with the development of a high prevalence of acute and chronic respiratory symptoms. The prevalence of byssinosis among these workers was high and similar to those reported by other investigators. Of the female workers at mill-A and mill-B, 47.8 and 57.9% had byssinosis, respectively, while 66.7% of the male workers examined had byssinosis. Acute symptoms noted during the work shift were very common in this investigation. From these results the authors state that either hemp dust is a very potent airway irritant or that the industries concerned with the processing of this vegetable product are significantly more dusty or less well regulated than comparable nonhemp mills.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Respiratory-system-disorders; Plant-dusts; Airborne-dusts; Lung-disease; Lung-irritants; Epidemiology; Risk-factors; Airway-obstruction
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
British Journal of Industrial Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York