Respiratory function and immunological status in workers employed in a latex glove manufacturing plant.
Zuskin-E; Mustajbegovic-J; Kanceljak-B; Schachter-EN; Macan-J; Budak-A
Am J Ind Med 1998 Feb; 33(2):175-181
A study of respiratory function and immunological status of 17 female workers employed in a small latex (9006046) glove manufacturing facility in Zagreb, Croatia was reported. The workers prepared latex solution from the original rubber material collected from rubber trees. Thirteen participants were nonsmokers and four were light smokers. The controls were 17 females employed as food packagers in a confectionery factory who were not exposed to latex and were matched to the cohort by age and smoking status. The subjects completed a respiratory symptom questionnaire. Spirometric testing was performed. Skin prick testing was performed using aqueous extracts of latex and latex gloves and common aeroallergens. Industrial hygiene monitoring for dusts was performed. The latex glove workers reported a significantly higher prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea, chronic cough and hoarseness than the controls. One of the latex workers, a nonsmoker, had symptoms of occupational asthma. A high prevalence of overshift (acute) symptoms such as eye irritation, nasal dryness, throat irritation, cough, dyspnea, and headache was also reported by the latex workers. Forced vital capacity (FVC), one second forced expiratory volume, and flow rates at 50 and 75% of FVC (FEF75) were significantly lower in the latex workers than in the controls. The most pronounced decrease was seen in FEF75. Only one latex worker reacted to skin testing with the latex extracts. She also reported symptoms compatible with occupational asthma. None of the subjects reacted to the common aeroallergens. Talc (14807966) was the major dust to which the latex workers were exposed. The total and respirable talc dust concentrations averaged 7.7 and 1.9mg/m3, which exceeded the Croatian standards of 1.5 and 0.5mg/m3, respectively. The authors conclude that, besides occupational asthma, exposures associated with latex glove manufacturing are associated with frequent nonspecific respiratory symptoms.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-function; Gloves; Natural-products; Industrial-factory-workers; Dust-exposure; Pulmonary-function-tests; Clinical-symptoms; Skin-tests; Industrial-hygiene; Bronchial-asthma; Occupational-diseases;
Author Keywords: latex workers; respiratory symptoms; lung function
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