Post-hire asthma among insect-rearing workers.
Suarthana E; Shen A; Henneberger PK; Kreiss K; Leppla NC; Bueller D; Lewis DM; Bledsoe TA; Janotka E; Petsonk EL
J Occup Environ Med 2012 Mar; 54(3):310-317
Objective: To evaluate the incidence of post-hire asthma (PHA) among insect-rearing workers, defined as asthma, the symptoms of which appeared after hire at the current workplace. Methods: We surveyed the health of workers at three insect-rearing facilities and an associated office facility. We calculated the incidence and estimated hazard ratios for PHA. Results: Post-hire asthma incidence in 157 insect-rearing workers was 16.2 per 1000 person-years compared with 9.2 per 1,000 person-years in 70 office workers. Workers with predominant exposure to Lepidoptera had an incidence of 26.9 per 1000 person-years and a hazard ratio of 5.5 (95% confidence interval: 1.6 to 23.9) adjusted for sex, race, and parental asthma. In contrast, the presence of specific immunoglobulin E to Lepidoptera antigens was not associated with PHA. Conclusion: Insect-rearing workers had a high incidence of PHA, primarily accounted for by workplace exposure to Lepidoptera.
Insects; Pulmonary-disorders; Pulmonary-function; Pulmonary-system; Respiration; Respiratory-hypersensitivity; Respiratory-infections; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Risk-factors; Workplace-studies; Workers; Worker-health; Work-environment
Edward Lee Petsonk, MD, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Rd, Morgantown WV 26505
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine