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Incidence of chronic bronchitis in a cohort of pulp mill workers with repeated gassings to sulphur dioxide and other irritant gases
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sundsvall Hospital, Sundsvall, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
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2013 (English)In: Environmental health, ISSN 1476-069X, E-ISSN 1476-069X, Vol. 12, Article Number: 113- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Occupational exposure to irritants is associated with chronic bronchitis. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether repeated peak exposures with respiratory symptoms, gassings, to sulphur dioxide (SO2) and other irritant gases could increase the risk of chronic bronchitis.

METHODS: The study population comprised 3,060 Swedish pulp mill workers (84% males) from a cohort study, who completed a comprehensive questionnaire with items on chronic bronchitis symptoms, smoking habit, occupational history, and specific exposures, including gassings. 2,037 have worked in sulphite mills. Incidence rates and hazard ratios (HRs) for the observation period, 1970-2000, in relation to exposure and the frequency of repeated gassings to SO2 and other irritant gases were calculated.

RESULTS: The incidence rate for chronic bronchitis among workers with repeated gassings was 3.5/1,000 person-years compared with 1.5/1,000 person-years among unexposed workers (HR 2.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4-3.1). The risk was even higher in the subgroup with frequent gassings (HR 3.2, 95% CI 2.0-5.2), particularly among never-smokers (HR 8.7, 95% CI 3.5-22).

CONCLUSIONS: Repeated gassings to irritant gases increased the incidence of chronic bronchitis in our study population during and after work in pulp mills, supporting the hypothesis that occupational exposures to irritants negatively affect the airways. These results underscore the importance of preventive actions in this work environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2013. Vol. 12, Article Number: 113- p.
Keyword [en]
(MeSH), Bronchitis, Chronic, Irritants, Sulphur dioxide, Paper
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84977DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-12-113PubMedID: 24354705OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-84977DiVA: diva2:690597
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2014-01-24 Created: 2014-01-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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