Respiratory symptoms and immunological status in poultry food processing workers.
Zuskin E; Kanceljak B; Mustajbegovic J; Schachter EN; Stilinovic L
Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1994 Dec; 66(5):339-342
A study of respiratory symptoms and immunological changes in poultry food processing workers was conducted. The cohort consisted of 57 females (mean age 36 years) employed at a mill processing feed in Croatia. Their mean duration of employment in the facility was 10 years. About 15% smoked an average of 12 cigarettes per day. The comparisons consisted of 51 females not exposed to poultry food dust. The subjects completed a respiratory symptom questionnaire. Skin prick tests with common aeroallergens and allergens related to poultry food processing were conducted. Blood samples were collected for determination of serum immunoglobulin-E (IgE) levels. Workplace monitoring was performed for total and respirable dust in the mill. The prevalence of any chronic respiratory symptom was significantly elevated in the cohort except for occupational asthma. The five most frequently cited symptoms were cough, dyspnea, rhinitis, phlegm, and bronchitis being reported by 49.1, 43.9, 38.6, 31.6, and 26.3%, respectively. Approximately 94.7% of the exposed workers with elevated serum IgE concentrations and 83.3% of the comparisons with increased IgE concentrations responded positively to prick testing with the poultry feed allergens. The most frequent responses were to poultry feed, poultry meat, fish flour, soy flour, four-leaf-clover, and feathers. Elevated serum IgE concentrations were detected in 19 of 57 exposed workers and four of 51 comparisons. Total dust concentrations in the mill varied from 1.05 to 11.72mg/m3. Respirable dust concentrations varied from 0.53 to 3.63mg/m3. The maximum total and respirable dust concentrations exceeded the Croatian standards of 3 and 1mg/m3, respectively. The authors conclude that the study findings support the view that occupational exposure to poultry feed dust may result in development of chronic respiratory symptoms and immunological changes in exposed workers.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Food-processing-workers; Health-survey; Immunological-tests; Epidemiology; Clinical-symptoms; Industrial-hygiene; Immunoglobulins; Chromatographic-analysis
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York