A cross-sectional study of exposures, lung function and respiratory symptoms among aluminium cast-house workers

Van Rooy, F. G. B. G. J; Houba, R.; Stigter, H.; Zaat, V. A. C.; Zengeni, M. M.; Rooyackers, J. M.; Boers, H. E.; Heederik, D. J. J.
December 2011
Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Dec2011, Vol. 68 Issue 12, p876
Academic Journal
Objectives To investigate exposures, respiratory symptoms, lung function and exposureeresponse relationships among aluminium cast-house workers. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 182 workers. Exposure data were used to model exposure to irritants. Lung function and questionnaire data on respiratory symptoms were compared to a general population sample and an internal reference group. Blood samples were taken from 156 workers to examine total IgE, eosinophils and sensitisation to common allergens. Results Average daily mean exposure to inhalable dust, metals, hydrogen fluoride, fluoride salts and sulphur dioxide was relatively low compared to reference values. Airflow patterns in the hall were disturbed regularly and resulted in pot emissions with high concentrations of fluorides. Peak exposures to chlorine gas occurred intermittently due to production process disturbances. Workers reported significantly more respiratory symptoms (continuous trouble with breathing (prevalence ratio (PR) 2.5; 95% CI 1.2 to 5.3), repeated trouble with breathing (PR 1.8; 95% CI 1.1 to 3.0), wheezing (PR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1 to 1.8), asthma attack (ever) (PR 2.8; 95% CI 1.7 to 4.6) and doctor diagnosed asthma (PR 2.6; 95% CI 1.5 to 4.4). Regression analysis showed significantly lower FEV1 values (-195 ml) and FVC values (-142 ml) compared to a general population sample. Lung function did not differ between groups. Conclusion This epidemiological study suggests cast-house workers in the aluminium industry are exposed to respiratory hazards. Exposureeresponse relationships could not be demonstrated but this study supports preventive measures in the work environment with a focus on (peak) exposures to irritants


Related Articles

  • Gender differences in occupational exposure patterns. Eng, Amanda; Mannetje, Andrea't; McLean, Dave; Ellison-Loschmann, Lis; Soo Cheng; Pearce, Neil // Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Dec2011, Vol. 68 Issue 12, p888 

    Objectives The authors conducted a population-based survey to examine gender differences in occupational exposure patterns and to investigate whether any observed differences are due to: (a) gender differences in occupational distribution; and/or (b) gender differences in tasks within...

  • Respiratory symptoms and ventilatory function in confectionery workers. Zuskin, Eugenija; Mustajbegovic, Jadranka; Schachter, E. Neil; Kern, Josipa; Zuskin, E; Mustajbegovic, J; Schachter, E N; Kern, J // Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Jul1994, Vol. 51 Issue 7, p435 

    Respiratory symptoms and ventilatory capacity were studied in a group of 288 workers (259 women and 29 men) employed in a confectionery plant. A group of workers (96 women and 31 men) not exposed to confectionery manufacture were also studied as controls. The prevalence of chronic respiratory...

  • Occupational carcinogen exposure in Canada. Van Tongeren, Martie // Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Jan2015, Vol. 72 Issue 1, p4 

    The author discusses the cases of occupational carcinogen exposure in Canada's labor sector. He cites the study led by Timo Kauppinen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in the early 1990s on the prevalence of occupational exposure in the European Union (EU). He also cites the...

  • An international prospective general population-based study of respiratory work disability. K Torén // Thorax;Apr2009, Vol. 64 Issue 4, p339 

    BACKGROUND: Previous cross-sectional studies have shown that job change due to breathing problems at the workplace (respiratory work disability) is common among adults of working age. That research indicated that occupational exposure to gases, dust and fumes was associated with job change due...

  • Risk assessment of occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by means of urinary1-hydroxypyrene. Maina, Giovanni; Manzari, Marco; Palmas, Antonio; Passini, Valter; Filon, Francesca Larese // Toxicology & Industrial Health;2007, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p55 

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have mutagenic and carcinogenic properties and some of them are classified as probable or possible human carcinogens. Aim of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic risk in workers exposed to diesel exaust. Environmental and biological monitoring exposure to...

  • Operator Exposure When Applying Amenity Herbicides by All-Terrain Vehicles and Controlled Droplet Applicators. JOHNSON, P. D.; RIMMER, D. A.; GARROD, A. N. I.; HELPS, J. E.; MAWDSLEY, C. // Annals of Occupational Hygiene;Jan2005, Vol. 49 Issue 1, p25 

    A total of 33 surveys of amenity herbicides took place during 1998–1999. These surveys concentrated on two application methods: all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and controlled droplet applicators (CDAs). The purpose of these surveys was to measure surface deposition and potential inhalation...

  • CORRECTIONS.  // Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Jul2010, Vol. 67 Issue 7, p799 

    Corrections to articles published in previous issues are presented including "Search Strings for the Study of Putative Occupational Determinants of Disease," by S. Mattioli and colleagues, and "Ozone, Heat and Mortality: Acute Effects in 15 British Conurbations," by S. Pattenden and colleagues.

  • Lung Disease: Review of Past Initiatives. Goldstein, Robert A. // Archives of Environmental Health;May/Jun84, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p183 

    Focuses on the problems encountered in occupational lung diseases. Diversity of manifestations of the disease; Importance of environmental factors; Difficulty in defining the threshold levels for a hazard-free environment.

  • Investigation of a cluster of pituitary adenomas in workers in the aluminum industry Checkoway, Harvey; Cullen, Mark R.; Alexander, Bruce H. // Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Nov1996, Vol. 53 Issue 11, p782 

    No abstract available.


Read the Article


Sign out of this library

Other Topics