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Immunological reactions and respiratory function in wool textile workers.
Zuskin E; Kanceljak B; Mustajbegovic J; Godnic-Cvar J; Schachter EN
Am J Ind Med 1995 Sep; 28(3):445-456
The prevalence of respiratory symptoms and lung function changes was correlated with immunological reactions in wool textile workers in a textile mill in Croatia. Sixty four wool workers from a cohort of 216 who participated in a previous study characterizing respiratory function in wool workers volunteered for immunologic testing. The mean age of the female workers was 39 years and the mean duration of their work exposure was 18 years. The mean age of the male workers was 38 years and their mean duration of work exposure was 16 years. Textile wool workers were employed in the opening of bales and the operating of carding, spinning, and weaving machines. The data demonstrated that wood dust allergens may cause positive immediate skin reactions in a large number of wool workers. Increased immunoglobulin-E levels were noted more frequently among wool workers than among controls. No significant difference was noted in the prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms between the exposed wool workers with positive and negative skin tests. A subgroup of workers with across shift decrements to wool showed 25% with documented airway hyperreactivity, as measured by histamine PC20FEV1. This suggests that PC20FEV1 is less sensitive to dust reactivity than the actual measurement of across shift changes. Challenge with wool dust extract in this group did not elicit significant bronchoconstriction, suggesting that wool dust extract was either not specific or insufficiently potent. The authors conclude that a nonspecific inflammatory mechanism was responsible for the effects observed and that immunologic testing may not have significant predictive value for this occupational problem.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Immunology; Lung-function; Textiles-industry; Textile-workers; Dust-exposure; Pulmonary-function-tests; Occupational-exposure
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division