Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1983;9(1):9-14    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2441

Lung function of sheet metal workers exposed to fiber glass.

by Sixt R, Bake B, Abrahamsson G, Thiringer G

Out of 532 registered and contacted sheet metal workers, 251 responded, but only seven pairs were acceptable for the present study due to the following requirement: no history of smoking, pleural plaques or asbestos exposure. Seven of these workers were exposed daily to fiber glass, and seven were almost never exposed. In a second step nine additional exposed workers were included. Ordinary spirometry, lung volumes, closing volumes and the slope of the alveolar plateau, the maximum expiratory flow in air and after helium-oxygen breathing, and the elastic recoil pressures were measured. No evidence of small airway dysfunction or restrictive or obstructive ventilatory impairment was found, but the elastic recoil pressures of the exposed group were slightly increased. Fiber glass can conceivably cause a corresponding faint and probably harmless fibrous reaction in the lung parenchyma.