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Occupational exposure to trichloramine and trihalomethanes: adverse health effects among personnel in habilitation and rehabilitation swimming pools
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, ISSN 1545-9624, E-ISSN 1545-9632, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 78-88Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Personnel in swimming pool facilities typically experience ocular, nasal, and respiratory symptoms due to water chlorination and consequent exposure to disinfection by-products in the air. The aim of the study was to investigate exposure to trichloramine and trihalomethanes (chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform) from the perspective of adverse health effects on the personnel at Swedish habilitation and rehabilitation swimming pools. The study included ten habilitation and rehabilitation swimming pool facilities in nine Swedish cities. The study population comprised 24 exposed swimming pool workers and 50 unexposed office workers. Personal and stationary measurements of trichloramine and trihalomethanes in air were performed at all the facilities. Questionnaires were distributed to exposed workers and referents. Spirometry, fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) and peak expiratory flow (PEF) were measured. Personal and stationary measurements yielded trichloramine levels of 1-76 µg/m3 (average: 19 µg/m3) and 1-140 µg/m3 (average: 23 µg/m3), respectively. A slightly higher, but not significant, prevalence of reported eye- and throat-related symptoms occurred among the exposed workers than among the referents. A significantly increased risk of at least one ocular symptom was attributed to trichloramine exposure above the median (20 µg/m3). Lung function (FVC and FEV1) was in the normal range according to the Swedish reference materials, and no significant change in lung function before and after shift could be established between the groups. Average FENO values were in the normal range in both groups, but the difference in the values between the exposed workers and referents showed a significant increase after shift. Hourly registered PEF values during the day of the investigation did not show any unusual individual variability. In conclusion, the increased risk of developing at least one ocular symptom at personal trichloramine concentrations over 20 µg/m3 combined with an increase in the difference in FENO during the work shift of the exposed workers should not be neglected as an increased risk of respiratory inflammation in the habilitation and rehabilitation swimming pool environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019. Vol. 16, no 1, p. 78-88
Keywords [en]
Occupational exposure, respiratory symptoms, swimming pool, trichloramine, trihalomethanes
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69906DOI: 10.1080/15459624.2018.1536825ISI: 000471113200011PubMedID: 30335595Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85060177023OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-69906DiVA, id: diva2:1261138
Available from: 2018-11-06 Created: 2018-11-06 Last updated: 2019-07-22Bibliographically approved

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Westerlund, JessicaLöfstedt, HåkanWestberg, HåkanGraff, Pål

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