Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1987;13(3):209-212    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2062

Respiratory effects of work in retail food stores. II. Respiratory symptoms.

by Wegman DH, Eisen EA, Smith TJ, Greaves IA, Fine LJ

This study examined the relationships between the prevalence of respiratory tract symptoms and estimates of environmental exposures in retail food stores, in particular exposures to emissions from the cutting of polyvinyl chloride wrap. When respiratory symptoms were compared with a measure of cumulative exposure, there was evidence that the prevalence of symptoms of episodic airway narrowing was higher for workers who had been exposed directly or indirectly to meat wrapping operations independent of a significant association of these symptoms with allergic or asthmatic history. Whether this finding reflects a nonspecific irritant effect or allergic sensitization cannot be determined from these data. No single substance present in the work environment studied has, as yet, been identified as associated with these effects.