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Respiratory function and immunologic status in workers processing dried fruits and teas.
Zuskin E; Kanceljak B; Schacter EN; Mustajbegovic J
Ann Allergy, Asthma, & Immun 1996 Nov; 77(5):417-422
Workers exposed to different organic aerosols may develop respiratory symptoms and lung function changes. To study the immunologic status and respiratory function in workers processing dried fruits and teas. The study was performed in 54 exposed and in 40 non-exposed female workers. Skin prick testing was performed with occupational allergens derived from the workplace. Respiratory symptoms were recorded for all workers. Lung function was measured in exposed workers by recording maximum expiratory flow-volume (MEFV) curves. Significantly more exposed workers than controls reacted with positive skin tests to at least one of the occupational allergens (P < .01). Only the response to sage was significantly greater in exposed (60.0%) than in control workers (20.0%) (P < .01). Thirty percent of these workers had elevated IgE level (compared with 2.5% of control workers) (P < .01). Higher prevalences of all chronic respiratory symptoms were noted in exposed compared with control workers. The exposed workers with positive skin tests had significantly higher prevalences of dyspnea (P < .05) and nasal catarrh (P < .01) than those with negative skin tests. A large number of exposed workers complained of acute symptoms that developed during the work shift. In exposed workers there were statistically significant across-shift reductions of ventilatory capacity, particularly for FEF50 and FEF25 on Monday and the following Thursday. Skin test status was not associated with more severe changes in lung function. The mean FEF25 measured before the Monday shift was significantly lower than predicted (P < .01). Our data suggest that following exposures to aerosols of dried fruits and teas some workers develop deleterious immunologic and respiratory changes.
Allergies; Allergens; Immunology; Workers; Worker-health; Occupational-exposure; Organic-dusts; Aerosols; Aerosol-particles; Lung-function; Respiratory-system-disorders; Exposure-assessment; Skin-tests; Hypersensitivity; Occupational-diseases; Food-processing-industry; Food-processing; Diseases
Issue of Publication
Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
Page last reviewed: August 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division