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Exposure to paper dust and the onset of asthma and chronic bronchitis.
Hoffman-C; Toren-K; Sallsten-G; Henneberger-PK
Am J Epidemiol 2001 Jun; 153(11)(Suppl):S137
This study looked to re-analyze data from a cohort of paper mill workers and unexposed residents from the same town, investigating whether asthma and chronic bronchitis are associated with current or cumulative dust exposure. The study was conducted among 972 paper mill workers who worked in the mill for at least I year between 1960 and 1987 and 781 non-mill worker town residents. Self-reported information was gathered via questionnaire. Measurements of dust in the mill were combined with self-reported work histories to arrive at estimates of exposure. Subjects began follow-up at the later of age 18 or 1960 and were followed until onset of illness for cases and 1987 for non-cases. Proportional hazards regression was used employing time-dependant outcome and predictor variables, including confounders. From self report, 44 people had onset of asthma and 119 had onset of chronic bronchitis during follow-up. The crude incidence of asthma differed little between mill workers (1.4 casesll03 person-years) and the referents (1.2 cases/10-3 p-yr). Asthma was not associated with dust exposure. The crude incidence of chronic bronchitis was greater for mill workers than referents (5.1 vs 2.1 cases/10-3 p-yr). An increased hazard ratio for chronic bronchitis was found for current mill work (1.9, 95% CI 1.2, 2.9). An elevated relative risk for chronic bronchitis was associated with current dust exposure of > 1 mg/m3 It appears that paper dust exposure increases the risk of chronic bronchitis but not asthma. Also, the current OSHA standard of 15 mg/m3 total dust for particles not otherwise regulated may not be protective against chronic bronchitis among workers exposed to paper dust.
Bronchial-asthma; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Pulmonary-disorders; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Dusts; Dust-particles; Respirable-dust; Paper-manufacturing-industry; Paper-mills
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Epidemiology
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division