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Occupational exposures to solvents and metals are associated with fixed airflow obstruction

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Alif, SM, Dharmage, SC, Benke, G, Dennekamp, M, Burgess, JA, Perret, JL, Lodge, CJ, Morrison, S, Johns, DP ORCID: 0000-0002-1575-6850, Giles, GG, Gurrin, LC, Thomas, PS, Hopper, JL, Wood-Baker, R, Thompson, BR, Feather, IH, Vermeulen, R, Kromhout, H, Walters, EH ORCID: 0000-0002-0993-4374, Abramson, MJ and Matheson, MC 2017 , 'Occupational exposures to solvents and metals are associated with fixed airflow obstruction' , Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health , doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3662.

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Abstract

Objectives: This study investigated the associations between occupational exposures to solvents and metals andfixed airflow obstruction (AO) using post-bronchodilator spirometry.Methods: We included 1335 participants from the 2002–2008 follow-up of the Tasmanian Longitudinal HealthStudy. Ever-exposure and cumulative exposure-unit (EU) years were calculated using the ALOHA plus jobexposure matrix (JEM). Fixed AO was defined as post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second(FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) Results: Ever-exposure to metals was associated with fixed AO [relative risk (RR) 1.71, 95% CI 1.03–2.85]and fixed AO lower limit of normal (RR 1.67, 95% CI 1.00–2.78). Women had lower cumulative EU years tochlorinated solvents [mean 20.9, standard deviation (SD) 13.4] than men (mean 28.6, SD 36.9). However, the riskof developing fixed AO and fixed AO plus low DLCO associated with each cumulative EU year of chlorinated solventswere higher among women than men (RR 1.08 versus 0.99, P-value for effect measure modification=0.006;RR 1.08 versus 1.00, P-value for effect measure modification=0.02).Conclusions: We have shown ever-exposure to metals and chlorinated solvents are important risk factors forfixed AO. The effects for solvents were strongest among women. Preventive strategies need to be followed toreduce these exposures at the workplace.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Alif, SM and Dharmage, SC and Benke, G and Dennekamp, M and Burgess, JA and Perret, JL and Lodge, CJ and Morrison, S and Johns, DP and Giles, GG and Gurrin, LC and Thomas, PS and Hopper, JL and Wood-Baker, R and Thompson, BR and Feather, IH and Vermeulen, R and Kromhout, H and Walters, EH and Abramson, MJ and Matheson, MC
Keywords: COPD, airflow obstruction, exposure, chlorinated solvents, metals
Journal or Publication Title: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
Publisher: Scand J Work Env Health
ISSN: 0355-3140
DOI / ID Number: 10.5271/sjweh.3662
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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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