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Nonfatal work-related inhalations: surveillance data from hospital emergency departments, 1995-1996.
Henneberger P; Metayer C; Layne L; Althouse R
Am J Ind Med 2000 Aug; 38(2):140-148
Data from a stratified sample of hospital emergency rooms in the USA were used to describe nonfatal work-related inhalation injuries and illnesses during July 1995 to July 1996. Information was abstracted from emergency room records by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as part of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) for all work-related injuries and illnesses regardless of product involvement. There were an estimated 44,423 occupational inhalation cases nationwide, with an annual rate of 3.6 cases/10(4) workers/year. The rate for men (4.4 cases/10(4)) was greater than that observed for women (2.6 cases/10(4)), and the rates tended to decline with increasing age. An estimated 4.6% of the cases were hospitalized for further treatment. The highest rate by industry was 16.4 cases/10(4) for public administration (which included fire and police departments). Among non-firefighters, there were an estimated 6,470 cases nationwide in which respiratory symptoms or conditions were noted, which yielded an annual rate of 0.5 cases/10(4) (95% CI 0.3, 0.7). Chlorine compounds were a common agent for the cases with adverse respiratory outcomes. The NEISS data provide an efficient method to learn about the national frequency of work-related inhalation injuries and illnesses. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is exploring two ways to use these data: first, to routinely review the reports to conduct surveillance for work-related inhalation cases; and second, to consider working with CPSC to conduct follow-back interviews of selected cases in order to learn more about the circumstances of the exposure, prior training of the case, and outcome of the exposure.
Respiratory irritants; Respiratory system disorders; Inhalants; Inhalation studies; Air sickness; Surveillance programs; Statistical analysis; Pulmonary system disorders; Air contamination; Fire fighters; Emergency responders; Police officers; Transportation workers; Retail workers; Author Keywords: occupational exposure; airborne contaminants; inhalations; emergency department; surveillance
Paul K. Henneberger, DRDS, NIOSH M/S 2800.03, 1095 Willowdale Road,Morgantown,WV 26505
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division