07/02/2010

Respiratory Symptoms and Exposure-Response Relations in Workers exposed to Metalworking Fluid Aerosols

The aim of this recently in the published study was to identify specific health
risks and exposureresponse relationships associated with exposure to
metalworking fluid (MWF) aerosols. In a cross-sectional study of machine
workers exposed to MWF aerosols in five companies in Sweden, a
self-administered questionnaire about health symptoms, work tasks, and exposure
situations was sent out to 2294 employees, 1632 exposed and 662 referents.
Referents were office workers and metal workers not working with MWFs. In four
of the companies, there were recent measurements of personal exposure to MWF
aerosols. Log-binomial regression models were used to estimate prevalence
ratios with 95% confidence intervals for different health outcomes in relation
to different variables of exposure. The response rate after two reminders was
67% resulting in 1048 (923 male, 125 female) workers exposed to MWF aerosols
and 451 (374 male, 77 female) referents. The study indicates that metal workers
in Sweden currently exposed to a mean value of MWF aerosols of 0.4 mg mave a
significantly higher prevalence of wheeze, chronic bronchitis, chronic
rhinitis, and eye irritation compared to the referents. At a mean exposure of
0.4 mg ma level below the Swedish 8-h exposure limit value of 1 mg mmachine
operators showed increased prevalence of symptoms in eyes and airways. Thus,
the current exposure limit value does not seem to protect the workers from such
symptoms.


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AplusA-online.de - Source: Annals of Occupational Hygiene