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Pulmonary function decrease in popcorn production workers: one-year follow-up.
Elci-OC; Enright-PL; Ozdencrantz-JR; Simoes-E; Kullman-G; Wagner-GR; Kreiss-K
Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2003 Apr; 167(7):A839
Following the report of a cluster of clinical bronchiolitis obliterans in former workers of a microwave popcorn production plant, a cross-sectional survey of current workers showed a 3.3-fold excess of airways obstruction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the lung function changes over time in this group and possible influences of occupational factors. We conducted four cross-sectional surveys in which we administered questionnaires, spirometry, and calculated job-specific exposure levels to diacetyl (as a marker of butter flavoring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) exposure). We tested percent-predicted FEV1 (%FEV1) and airways obstruction against three measures of exposure: job category, date of starting before or after industrial hygiene controls, and an estimate of cumulative exposure based on job history and measured exposure levels. We found 30 workers (12.3%) with airways obstruction. There was a significant negative correlation between VOCs exposure and %FEV1 levels (p=0.003) and airways obstruction was significantly higher among those exposed to high-level VOCs (p=0.025). %FEV1 was significantly higher among workers started after implementing preventive industrial hygiene controls (p<0.001). %FEV1 levels among quality control workers were also significantly lower than other workers (p= 0.002). We observed a significant level of airways obstruction and decrease in pulmonary functions in the current workers related to high-level VOCs exposure.
Pulmonary-function; Airway-obstruction; Lung-function; Questionnaires; Spirometry; Job-analysis; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-levels; Industrial-hygiene; Organic-compounds; Pulmonary-function-tests; Lung-disease; Chest-X-rays; Respiratory-irritants; Airway-resistance; Age-groups; Smoking; Air-sampling; Air-quality-monitoring; Chronic-exposure; Pulmonary-function; Pulmonary-disorders; Respirable-dust; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Food-processing-workers; Food-processing-industry; Food-processing; Food-additives
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Issue of Publication
Disease and Injury: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2003 International Conference, The American Thoracic Society, Seattle, WA, May 16-21, 2003
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division