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Occupational exposures to solvents and metals are associated with fixed airflow obstruction


Alif, SM and Dharmage, SC and Benke, G and Dennekamp, M and Burgess, JA and Perret, JL and Lodge, CJ and Morrison, S and Johns, DP and Giles, GG and Gurrin, LC and Thomas, PS and Hopper, JL and Wood-Baker, R and Thompson, BR and Feather, IH and Vermeulen, R and Kromhout, H and Walters, EH and Abramson, MJ and Matheson, MC, Occupational exposures to solvents and metals are associated with fixed airflow obstruction, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health ISSN 0355-3140 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.5271/sjweh.3662


Objectives: This study investigated the associations between occupational exposures to solvents and metals and fixed airflow obstruction (AO) using post-bronchodilator spirometry.

Methods: We included 1335 participants from the 20022008 follow-up of the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study. Ever-exposure and cumulative exposure-unit (EU) years were calculated using the ALOHA plus job exposure matrix (JEM). Fixed AO was defined as post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) <0.7 and FEV1/FVC

Results: Ever-exposure to metals was associated with fixed AO [relative risk (RR) 1.71, 95% CI 1.032.85] and fixed AO lower limit of normal (RR 1.67, 95% CI 1.002.78). Women had lower cumulative EU years to chlorinated solvents [mean 20.9, standard deviation (SD) 13.4] than men (mean 28.6, SD 36.9). However, the risk of developing fixed AO and fixed AO plus low DLCO associated with each cumulative EU year of chlorinated solvents were higher among women than men (RR 1.08 versus 0.99, P-value for effect measure modification=0.006; RR 1.08 versus 1.00, P-value for effect measure modification=0.02).

Conclusions: We have shown ever-exposure to metals and chlorinated solvents are important risk factors for fixed AO. The effects for solvents were strongest among women. Preventive strategies need to be followed to reduce these exposures at the workplace.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:COPD, airflow obstruction, exposure, chlorinated solvents, metals
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Dharmage, SC (Professor Shyamali Dharmage)
UTAS Author:Johns, DP (Associate Professor David Johns)
UTAS Author:Wood-Baker, R (Professor Richard Wood-Baker)
UTAS Author:Walters, EH (Professor Haydn Walters)
ID Code:121365
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2017-09-26
Last Modified:2018-09-11
Downloads:75 View Download Statistics

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