Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1990;16(3):195-202    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1794

Smoking habits and lifetime occupational exposure to gases or dusts, including asbestos and quartz, in a Norwegian community.

by Bakke P, Gulsvik A, Eide GE, Hanoa R

Past or present occupational airborne exposure was recorded with a self-administered questionnaire sent to a random sample (N = 4992) of the 15- to 70-year-old population of Hordaland County, Norway. Completed questionnaires were returned by 90% of the sample. The respondents comprised 39% smokers, 20% ex-smokers, and 41% nonsmokers. Altogether 46% of the men and 12% of the women had a history of occupational gas or dust exposure. Occupational asbestos exposure was reported by 10% of the men and 0.4% of the women, and quartz exposure had been experienced by 8% of the men and 0.4% of the women. Smokers with a history of asbestos exposure represented 5% of the male population. Thirty percent of the smokers reported having been advised to stop smoking by a physician. The asbestos-exposed smokers had not received such advice more often than the smokers not exposed to asbestos. The findings indicate that airborne occupational exposure is widespread in the Norwegian County of Hordaland.