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Adverse respiratory outcomes associated with occupational exposures at a soy processing plant.
Cummings-KJ; Gaughan-DM; Kullman-GJ; Beezhold-DH; Green-BJ; Blachere-FM; Bledsoe-T; Kreiss-K; Cox-Ganser-J
Eur Respir J 2010 Nov; 36(5):1007-1015
This study aimed to characterize the relationship between adverse health outcomes and occupational risk factors among workers at a soy processing plant. A questionnaire, spirometry, methacholine challenge, immune testing, and air sampling for dust and soy were offered. Prevalence ratios (PRs) of respiratory problems from comparisons with the US adult population were calculated. Soy-specific IgG and IgE among participants and healthcare worker controls were compared. Associations between health outcomes and potential explanatory variables were examined using logistic regression. One hundred forty-seven (52%) of 281 employees, including 66 (70%) of 94 production workers, participated. PRs were significantly elevated for wheeze, sinusitis, ever-asthma, and current asthma. Participants had significantly higher mean concentrations of soy-specific IgG (97.9 mg·L-1 vs. 1.5 mg·L-1) and prevalence of soy-specific IgE (21% vs. 4%) than controls. Participants with soy-specific IgE had 3-fold greater odds of current asthma or asthma-like symptoms, and 6-fold greater odds of work-related asthma-like symptoms; the latter additionally was associated with production work and higher peak dust exposures. Airways obstruction was associated with higher peak dust. Work-related sinusitis, nasal allergies, and rash were associated with reported workplace mold exposure. Asthma and symptoms of asthma, but not other respiratory problems, were associated with immune reactivity to soy.
Agricultural-industry; Air-sampling; Allergens; Allergic-reactions; Allergies; Breathing; Bronchial-asthma; Dust-analysis; Dust-collection; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Mathematical-models; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Particle-aerodynamics; Particulate-dust; Pulmonary-system; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Quantitative-analysis; Questionnaires; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Statistical-analysis; Work-environment; Worker-health; Work-operations; Workplace-studies; Author Keywords: Allergy; asthma; immunoglobulin E; immunoglobulin G; occupational; soy
K.J. Cummings, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morgantown, WV
Issue of Publication
European Respiratory Journal