A study of characteristics of Michigan workers with work-related asthma exposed to welding.
Banga-A; Reilly-MJ; Rosenman-KD
J Occup Environ Med 2011 Apr; 53(4):415-419
Objective: To describe the characteristics of subjects with work-related asthma (WRA) secondary to welding exposure. Methods: As part of statewide surveillance, WRA reports were received from health care professionals. These reports were followed up with a telephonic interview using a standardized questionnaire; lung function tests were reviewed, and final assessment regarding the diagnosis was made. Results: Welding exposure was the fifth leading cause of WRA (n = 142; age, 43.3 +/- 11.4 years; male to female ratio, 94:48). Several workers (n = 72) were nonwelders but all worked around welding fumes. More than a third had predicted forced expiratory volume in one second less than 80 percent (38 of 106, 35.8 percent). Most had sought medical treatment (95.8 percent) and had emergency room visits (n = 86, 60.6 percent), and several had required hospitalization (n = 50, 36.7 percent). Conclusion: Welding exposure is a common cause of WRA. It is seen in workers from different industries engaged in diverse jobs. Spirometry changes are common. Work-related asthma is associated with high morbidity and health care costs.
Welding; Welders; Welders-lung; Bronchial-asthma; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-disorders; Spirometry; Work-environment; Surveillance-programs; Men; Women; Fumes; Questionnaires; Lung-function; Diagnostic-techniques; Exposure-assessment; Medical-monitoring; Morbidity-rates; Health-care
Kenneth D. Rosenman, MD, Department of Medicine, Michigan State University, 117 West Fee Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Michigan State University