Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1988;14(3):181-188    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1933

An 11-year longitudinal study of the occupational dust exposure and lung function of polyvinyl chloride, cement and asbestos cement factory workers.

by Siracusa A, Forcina A, Volpi R, Mollichella E, Cicioni C, Fiordi T

Standardized questionnaires and lung function tests were administered in 1973, 1980, and 1984 to 126 workers occupationally exposed to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) dust, to cement dust, or to asbestos cement dust until 1974-1978 and to PVC thereafter. The workers in the last group were assigned to two asbestos exposure categories (heavy and slight). The decline in forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1.0) was analyzed with regard to the length of time since the data of first employment. After adjustment for age, height, and smoking status at the date of first employment, the decline in FVC and FEV1.0 among the nonsmokers-light smokers was slightly accelerated with length of employment in the PVC and slight asbestos exposure groups and markedly accelerated with time since first employment in the heavy asbestos exposure group. The heavy smokers in all the exposure groups had FVC and FEV1.0 predicted values that were lower than those of the nonsmokers-light smokers; these differences remained constant with length of employment. Cessation of asbestos exposure for about 10 years did not seem to change lung function decline.