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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318124a8f3
Original Articles

Five Annual Observations of Respiratory Findings in Gun Factory Workers Exposed to Solvents

Saygun, Meral MD; Cakmak, Aytul MD; Ekici, Aydanur MD; Pinar, Tevfik MD; Bulcun, Emel MD; Ulu, Nuriye MD; Ekici, Mehmet MD

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Abstract

Objective: We investigated whether long-term, low-level exposures to solvents had adverse longitudinal effects on pulmonary functions.

Methods: The study was performed on 1091 workers 5 years ago and then on 697 workers 5 years later. Chronic respiratory symptoms were recorded using a questionnaire on respiratory symptoms.

Results: The annual decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 second in the workers exposed to solvents was not significantly different from that of the unexposed workers (69.7 ± 89.9 vs 75.8 ± 87.6 mL/yr, P = 0.5, respectively). In 453 workers who were exposed to solvents 5 years ago, the prevalence rate of asthma was 1.1%. Five years later, it was 3.6% in 193 workers from the same group. The difference was statistically significant (P = 0.03).

Conclusions: Longitudinally, the chronic exposure to low doses of solvents does not adversely affect the pulmonary functions, whereas it increases the asthma prevalence.

©2007The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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