Respiratory symptoms and lung function in bus drivers and mechanics.
Zuskin E; Mustajbegovic J; Schachter EN
Am J Ind Med 1994 Dec; 26(6):771-783
Respiratory system changes in Croatian bus drivers and mechanics were studied. The cohort consisted of 116 male bus drivers, mean age 37 years, and 119 male bus mechanics, mean age 36 years, employed by a large transportation company in Zagreb, Croatia. Approximately 62% of the drivers and 57% of the mechanics were regular smokers. The comparisons consisted of 135 males employed as food packers in a food processing factory and 174 males not exposed to dust or fumes matched by age and smoking status to the cohort. The subjects completed a respiratory symptom questionnaire. Pulmonary function testing was performed. The bus drivers and mechanics had higher prevalences of all respiratory symptoms than the comparisons. Increases in the prevalence of chest tightness, nasal catarrh, and sinusitis were statistically significant. The bus drivers had a significantly higher prevalence of dyspnea than the comparisons. The prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms such as cough, phlegm, bronchitis, and dyspnea was higher in smokers than in nonsmokers in each group. Bus drivers and mechanics with more than 10 years of employment had a significantly higher prevalence of most respiratory symptoms than those employed for less than 10 years. One second forced expiratory volume (FEV1), midexpiratory flow, and maximum flow rate at the last 25% of forced vital capacity (FEF25) were significantly lower than predicted in smoking bus drivers and mechanics. In nonsmoking bus drivers and mechanics, FEV1 and FEF25 were significantly lower than predicted. The authors conclude that long term employment as bus drivers and mechanics may be associated with the development of chronic respiratory symptoms and impaired lung function. These effects reflect exposure to diesel fumes and, in the case of mechanics, exposures to organic solvents as well. These effects are more pronounced in smokers.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Bus-drivers; Pulmonary-function-tests; Clinical-symptoms; Epidemiology; Cigarette-smoking; Diesel-exhausts; Occupational-exposure; Transportation-industry
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York