Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1992;18(1):44-51    pdf


Occupational airborne exposure of the general population of a Norwegian county.

by Bakke P, Baste V, Hanoa R, Gulsvik A

Occupational airborne exposure was examined for a stratified sample (N = 1275) of the general population aged 18-73 years in Hordaland County, Norway. The subjects identified all jobs of more than six months since leaving school and stated whether they had been occupationally exposed to specific agents and work processes potentially harmful to the lungs. The prevalence in the population ever having been exposed was 18% for asbestos, 9% for quartz, 5% for aluminum dust, 6% for wood dust, 12% for metal gases, 12% for welding, 9% for soldering, and 1% for hairdressing. According to occupational title (last job), 3% of the population had held a job with a high degree of airborne exposure, 26% a job with moderate exposure, and 70% a job with no airborne exposure. During their worklife both the men and the women tended to leave polluted jobs more often than unpolluted jobs. Occupational exposure to airborne pollutants potentially harmful to the lungs is widespread in this Norwegian general population.