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Boron workers in China: exploring work and lifestyle factors related to boron exposure.
Chang BL; Robbins WA; Wei F; Xun L; Wu G; Li N; Elashoff DA
AAOHN J 2006 Oct; 54(10):435-443
This article describes the lifestyle patterns of boron mining and processing workers (N=936) and a comparison group (N=251) in northeast China, and explores relationships between boron exposure and reproductive health. An English version of an interview guide addressing areas of work and lifestyle relevant to boron exposure and metabolism was developed by an occupational health research team, translated to Chinese, and translated back, for clarity. Modifications incorporated suggestions from a local community advisory board and boron industry workers; the translation-back translation process was reapplied, and cultural and semantic equivalence was attained. Results from the interviews showed more than 64% of workers and comparison group participants smoked tobacco and more than 92% reported exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Boron workers and the comparison group varied in their food intake and alcohol consumption, but not in their smoking habits. Thirty-four percent of boron workers reported eating in the contaminated work area. Nearly all boron workers (99%) showered or bathed after work, although approximately 10% redressed in their contaminated clothes. Reproductive health outcomes were explored, including delayed pregnancy, multiple births, spontaneous miscarriages, induced abortions, stillbirths, and an unusual ratio of male to female offspring. Implications for occupational health nurses and recommendations for future research are provided.
Workers; Worker-health; Occupational-exposure; Boron-compounds; Mining-industry; Miners; Occupational-health; Metabolism; Environmental-exposure; Tobacco; Tobacco-smoke; Smoking; Reproductive-effects
Issue of Publication
AAOHN Journal - American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Journal
University of California, Los Angeles