Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2006;32(2):145-153    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.990

Effect of respirators equipped with particle or particle-and-gas filters during exposure in a pig confinement building

by Sundblad B-M, Sahlander K, Ek A, Kumlin M, Olsson M, Larsson K, Palmberg L

Objectives This study compared the protective effect of two respiratory protection devices during exposure in a pig confinement building.

Methods Thirty-six healthy persons were exposed for 3 hours in the building, 12 without any protection, 12 with a particle-filter mask, and 12 with a mask filtering both particles and gases. Symptoms, body temperature, nasal lavage fluid, exhaled nitric oxide, and bronchial responsiveness to methacholine were assessed before and after the exposure. Pre- and postexposure urine and blood samples were collected.

Results After the exposure, the participants with respirators reported fewer symptoms than those without. Wearing a mask also reduced the inflammatory response assessed with nasal lavage (cell concentration, interleukins 6 and 8) and peripheral blood (cell number). Lung function was significantly impaired only in the unprotected group; postexposure vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 second showed a decrease of 3–4% from the preexposure levels (P=0.006 and P=0.002, respectively). Bronchial responsiveness (P<0.01) and body temperature (P<0.001) increased similarly in the three groups. Bronchial responsiveness to methacholine increased 2.7, 2.4, and 2.1 doubling concentration steps for those unprotected, those using a particle-filter mask, and those using a mask with particle and gas filters, respectively. The prostaglandin D2 metabolite, 9a, 11b-PGF2 increased significantly (P=0.003) only in those unprotected.

Conclusions Wearing a respirator in a pig confinement building reduces the inflammatory reaction but does not influence the increase in bronchial responsiveness, with no difference between the use of a particle-filter mask or a mask with a particle-gas filter combination.

See 2007;33(2):160 for a correction.
The following article refers to this text: 2009;35(5):376-383