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Respiratory symptoms, immunological responses, and aeroallergen concentrations at a sawmill.
Halpin-DMG; Graneek-BJ; Lacey-J; Nieuwenhuijsen-MJ; Williamson-PAM; Venables-KM; Taylor-AJ-Newman
Occup Environ Med 1994 Mar; 51(3):165-172
An epidemiological, immunological, and environmental investigation of current and former workers at a sawmill and of a control population not occupationally exposed to wood or wood products was presented. About 3,300 cubic meters of timber was cut in the green mill at this facility each week. Conveyor belts were used to remove the sawdust from beneath the enclosed band saws. About 5% of the cut planks were treated with a fungicide in an automatic process with manual loading and unloading of the treatment tank. Of the 100 current workers, 95 completed questionnaires and performed spirometry. Blood samples were taken from 88 who also had skin prick tests performed. Seventeen exworkers were also studied. Exposure to wood dust at this mill was associated with an increased prevalence of symptoms related to nasal and conjunctival irritation and with a high prevalence of symptomatic bronchial hyperreactivity. Workers exposed to high concentrations of dust had more work related respiratory symptoms than those exposed to lower dust concentrations and cases of extrinsic allergic alveolitis occurred only in the more heavily exposed to wood dust with the higher concentrations of fungal spores. These workers had high concentrations of specific immunoglobulin-G against extracts of sawdust and Trichoderma-koningii.
Immunological-tests; Allergic-reactions; Respiratory-system-disorders; Dust-exposure; Wood-dusts; Sawmill-workers; Lung-irritants; Fungi; Molds; Epidemiology; Skin-tests; Occupational-exposure
Issue of Publication
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of California - Davis
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division