Respiratory health in asbestos-exposed ironworkers

Authors

  • Adrian Z. Rocskay PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Southfield, Michigan
    2. Department of Environmental and Industrial Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    3. Division of Occupational Health, Michigan Department of Public Health, Westland, Michigan
    • Division of Occupational Health, Michigan Department of Public Health, 7325 Middlebelt Road, Westland, MI 48185
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  • Michael R. Harbut MD, MPH,

    1. Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Southfield, Michigan
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  • Margaret A. Green MD, MPH,

    1. Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Southfield, Michigan
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  • David L. Osher MD,

    1. Providence Hospital, Southfield, Michigan
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  • Edward T. Zellers PhD

    1. Department of Environmental and Industrial Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Abstract

This study aimed to determine the prevalence of respiratory morbidity among asbestos-exposed ironworkers and to determine the relationship between respiratory morbidity indices and length of exposure. A medical screening provided information on chest radiographic abnormalities, pulmonary function, rales, finger clubbing, and respiratory symptoms for 547 asbestos-exposed ironworkers. Union pension records furnished data on length of exposure. The study group exhibited an increased prevalence of small irregular opacities, pleural plaques, and pleural thickening on chest x-ray; reduced FEF25–75; rales; and respiratory symptoms. After controlling for the effect of cigarette smoking and age, years since joining the ironworkers union were significantly associated with profusion, pleural thickening, pleural plaques, rales, percent predicted FVC, reduced FVC, reduced FEV1, reduced FEV1/FVC, and dyspnea grades I, II, III, and IV. © 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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