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A Panel Study for Cardiopulmonary Effects Produced by Occupational Exposure to Inhalable Titanium Dioxide

Zhen, Sen MM; Qian, Qin MM; Jia, Guang PhD; Zhang, Ji MM; Chen, Chunying PhD; Wei, Yongjie PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 11 - p 1389–1394
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182611a49
Original Articles

Objectives: To investigate titanium dioxide (TiO2) exposure level in the finished product workshop, and its short-term cardiopulmonary effects, based on exposure assessment.

Methods: Seven workers were recruited into the panel. Personal TiO2 exposure information, cardiopulmonary function, and the particle size distribution data were collected during working days. Linear mixed effect model was used to examine the association between TiO2 exposure and cardiopulmonary function changes.

Results: The weight percentage of TiO2 particles more than 10 μm, 1 to 10 μm, and less than 1 μm in the total dust was 14.5%, 69.5%, and 16%, respectively. Linear mixed effect model analysis showed that 1 mg/m3 increase in daily personal TiO2 exposure was associated with the decline in maximum voluntary ventilation, peak expiratory flow, maximum mid-expiratory flow, and 75% of maximum expiratory flow.

Conclusion: The study provided new evidence for health effects of occupational inhalable TiO2 exposure, which suggests setting up new occupational exposure standards for fine TiO2.

From the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health (Mr Zhen, Ms Qian, and Dr Jia) and Department of Environmental Sciences (Dr Wei), Peking University, Beijing,; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (Mr Zhen), Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province; Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (Mr Zhang), Jinan City, Shandong Province and National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (Dr Chen), Beijing, People's Republic of China.

Address correspondence to: Guang Jia, PhD, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, People's Republic of China (

This study was supported by the project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant 30771787).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine