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  • 1.
    Andersson, Lena
    et al.
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden; Man-Technology-Environment Research Centre (MTM), Department of Science, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Bryngelsson, Ing-Liss
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden.
    Ngo, Yen
    Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Solna, Sweden.
    Ohlson, Carl-Göran
    Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. Department of Clinical Medicines, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden; Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden.
    Westberg, Håkan
    Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden.
    Exposure assessment and modeling of quartz in Swedish iron foundries for a nested case-control study on lung cancer2012In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, ISSN 1545-9624, E-ISSN 1545-9632, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 110-119Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Exposure assessment of quartz in Swedish iron foundries was performed based on historical and present measurement data. To evaluate the exposure response relationship between quartz exposure and lung cancer, we modeled quartz exposure from our database of measurements using determinants job title, time period and company. Based on these modeled exposure data, we conducted a nested case– control evaluation.

    In our database, the overall individual daily time-weighted average (TWA) quartz concentrations of current and historical data varied between 0.0018 and 4.9 mg/m3, averaging 0.083 mg/m3. The job titles with mean TWAs for the whole study period exceeding the European Union recommended occupational exposure limit of 0.05 mg/m3 were fettlers (0.087 mg/m3), furnace and ladle repair (0.42 mg/m3) and maintenance (0.054 mg/m3) workers.

    The mixed model analysis demonstrated significant determinants on the job level for furnace and ladle repair (β=4.06; 95% CI 2.78-5.93). For all jobs significantly higher exposure levels occurred only during the first time period, 1968-1979 (β=2.08; 95% CI 1.75-2.47), and a decreasing but not significant trend was noted for the three following 10 year time periods up to 2006 (β=1.0, 0.96 and 1, respectively). Two iron foundries had significantly higher quartz concentration levels than the others (β=1.31; 95% CI 1.00-1.71 and β=1.63; 95% CI 1.00-2.65, respectively). The individual cumulative quartz exposure measures were categorized in low, medium and high exposure (0.5-<1, 1-1.9 and ≥2 mg/m3 *years, respectively).

    In the nested case-control analysis, we found the highest odds ratios of lung cancer (OR 1.17; 95% CI 0.53-2.55) for the medium exposure group. No dose– response trend or significantly increased risk was determined for our high exposed group (≥2 mg/m3), representing 40 years of exposure at >0.05 mg/m3 of quartz. To conclude, certain foundry workers are still exposed to high levels of quartz, but an increased risk of lung cancer caused by quartz exposure in these Swedish iron foundries could not be confirmed at our exposure levels.

  • 2. Andersson, Lena
    et al.
    Bryngelsson, Ing-Liss
    Ohlson, Carl-Göran
    Nayström, Peter
    Lilja, Bengt-Gunnar
    Westberg, Håkan
    Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.
    Quartz and dust exposure in Swedish iron foundries2009In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, ISSN 1545-9624, E-ISSN 1545-9632, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 9-18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Exposure to respirable quartz continues to be a major concern in the Swedish iron foundry industry. Recommendations for reducing the European occupational exposure limit (EU-OEL) to 0.05 mg/m3 and the corresponding ACGIH® threshold limit value (ACGIH-TLV) to 0.025 mg/m3 prompted this exposure survey. Occupational exposure to respirable dust and respirable quartz were determined in 11 Swedish iron foundries, representing different sizes of industrial operation and different manufacturing techniques. In total, 436 respirable dust and 435 respirable quartz exposure measurements associated with all job titles were carried out and are presented as time-weighted averages. Our sampling strategy enabled us to evaluate the use of respirators in certain jobs, thus determining actual exposure. In addition, measurements using real-time dust monitors were made for high exposure jobs. For respirable quartz, 23% of all the measurements exceeded the EU-OEL, and 56% exceeded the ACGIH-TLV. The overall geometric mean (GM) for the quartz levels was 0.028 mg/m3, ranging from 0.003 to 2.1 mg/m3. Fettler and furnace and ladle repair operatives were exposed to the highest levels of both respirable dust (GM = 0.69 and 1.2 mg/m3; range 0.076-31 and 0.25-9.3 mg/m3 and respirable quartz (GM = 0.041 and 0.052 mg/m3; range 0.004-2.1 and 0.0098-0.83 mg/m3. Fettlers often used respirators and their actual quartz exposure was lower (range 0.003-0.21 mg/m3, but in some cases it still exceeded the Swedish OEL (0.1 mg/m3. For furnace and ladle repair operatives, the actual quartz exposure did not exceed the OEL (range 0.003-0.08 mg/m3, but most respirators provided insufficient protection, i.e., factors less than 200. In summary, measurements in Swedish iron foundries revealed high exposures to respirable quartz, in particular for fettlers and furnace and ladle repair workers. The suggested EU-OEL and the ACGIH-TLV were exceeded in, respectively, 23% and 56% of all measurements regardless of the type of foundry. Further work on elimination techniques to reduce quartz concentrations, along with control of personal protection equipment, is essential.

  • 3.
    Hagström, Katja
    et al.
    Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences.
    Axelsson, Sara
    Arvidsson, Helena
    Bryngelsson, Ing-Liss
    Lundholm, Cecilia
    Eriksson, Kåre
    Exposure to wood dust, resin acids and volatile organic compounds during production of wood pellets2008In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, ISSN 1545-9624, E-ISSN 1545-9632, Vol. 5, no 5, p. 296-304Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The main aim of this study was to investigate exposure to airborne substances that are potentially harmful to health during the production of wood pellets, including wood dust, monoterpenes, and resin acids, and as an indicator of diesel exhaust nitrogen dioxide. In addition, area measurements were taken to assess background exposure levels of these substances, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and carbon monoxide. Measurements were taken at four wood pellet production plants from May 2004 to April 2005. Forty-four workers participated in the study, and a total of 68 personal measurements were taken to determine personal exposure to wood dust (inhalable and total dust), resin acids, monoterpenes, and nitrogen dioxide. In addition, 42 measurements of nitrogen dioxide and 71 measurements of total dust, resin acids, monoterpenes, VOCs, and carbon monoxide were taken to quantify their indoor area concentrations. Personal exposure levels to wood dust were high, and a third of the measured levels of inhalable dust exceeded the Swedish occupational exposure limit (OEL) of 2 mg/m3. Parallel measurements of inhalable and total dust indicated that the former were, on average, 3.2 times higher than the latter. The data indicate that workers at the plants are exposed to significant amounts of the resin acid 7-oxodehydroabietic acid in the air, an observation that has not been recorded previously at wood processing and handling plants. The study also found evidence of exposure to dehydroabietic acid, and exposure levels for resin acids approached 74% of the British OEL for colophony, set at 50 microg/m3. Personal exposure levels to monoterpenes and nitrogen dioxide were low. Area sampling measurements indicated that aldehydes and terpenes were the most abundant VOCs, suggesting that measuring personal exposure to aldehydes might be of interest. Carbon monoxide levels were under the detection limit in all area measurements. High wood dust exposure levels are likely to have implications for worker health; therefore, it is important to reduce exposure to wood dust in this industry.

  • 4.
    Westerlund, Jessica
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Bryngelsson, Ing-Liss
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Löfstedt, Håkan
    Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Eriksson, Kåre
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Westberg, Håkan
    Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Graff, Pål
    Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden; Department of Chemical and Biological Work Environment, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway.
    Occupational exposure to trichloramine and trihalomethanes: adverse health effects among personnel in habilitation and rehabilitation swimming pools2019In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, ISSN 1545-9624, E-ISSN 1545-9632, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 78-88Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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