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Respiratory findings in workers not exposed to air pollutants.
Zuskin E; Schachter EN; Mustajbegovic J; Kern J; Bradic V
J Occup Environ Med 1996 Sep; 38(9):912-919
A study was conducted examining lung function and pulmonary symptoms in workers not exposed to noxious agents. Respiratory symptoms and ventilatory capacity were assessed in 806 transport, office, maintenance, and sales workers without known exposures to occupational respiratory irritants. Significantly higher prevalences of chronic cough, phlegm, and bronchitis were seen in male smokers compared with nonsmokers. The incidence of asthma was similar in the workers and a community based referent group. Significantly higher prevalences of chronic respiratory symptoms were seen in male smokers 40 years of age or older compared with younger smokers. Acute respiratory symptoms including cough, dyspnea, and irritation and dryness of the throat were reported only by smokers. Significant increases in across shift measurements were seen for forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume at 1 second, and forced expiratory flow rates at 50% and the last 25% of the vital capacity. These changes did not differ significantly between workers of different ages or those with different durations of employment. The authors conclude that workers not exposed to noxious agents have lung function similar to that of referents and that smoking appears to be the most significant risk factor related to the development of lung disease in this group of workers.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-function; Worker-health; Epidemiology; Cigarette-smoking; Physiological-effects; Age-factors; Respiratory-system-disorders; Health-survey; Risk-factors
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, NY 10029
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
Page last reviewed: November 13, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division