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The role of endotoxin in grain dust-induced lung disease.
Schwartz DA; Thorne PS; Yagla SJ; Burmeister LF; Olenchock SA; Watt JL; Quinn TJ
Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1995 Aug; 152(2):603-608
An effort was made to identify the contribution of endotoxin to grain dust induced lung disease. Health and environmental evaluations were conducted on 410 grain handlers and 201 postal workers and their working facilities in Iowa City. Grain workers were found to be exposed to higher concentrations of total and respirable dust and endotoxin compared with the postal workers. In addition, a higher prevalence of work related and chronic respiratory symptoms such as cough, phlegm, wheezing, chest tightness, and dyspnea was identified in the grain handlers. A strong association was identified between higher levels of total endotoxin and an increased prevalence of work related respiratory symptoms. The only lung function parameter distinguishing the two groups was forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV1), which was slightly reduced in grain workers. Statistical analysis controlling for age, gender, and smoking indicated an association between working in the grain industry and spirometric measures of airflow obstruction and a greater decline in FEV1 in response to histamine. Higher concentrations of endotoxin also appeared to be associated with diminished measures of airflow and enhanced bronchial reactivity. The authors suggest that endotoxin concentrations in bioaerosols may play an important role in the development of grain dust induced lung disease.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Grain-dusts; Lung-disorders; Occupational-exposure; Toxic-effects; Lung-function; Occupational-diseases
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division