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Organic dust exposure and work-related effects among recycling workers

Gladding, Toni; Thorn, Jorgen and Stott, David (2003). Organic dust exposure and work-related effects among recycling workers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 43(6) pp. 584–591.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.10220
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Abstract

Objective

To study organic dust exposure and work-related symptoms and effects in Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs).

Methods

159 MRF workers (91%) from nine MRFs participated. Measurements of airborne total dust, endotoxin and (1→3)-ß-D-glucan were made and cross-sectional questionnaires were carried out. Blood data was restricted to MRFs 4, 7 and 9 (45 workers). Blood sampling investigated differential cell counts, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and immunoglobulin (Ig)E.

Results

Workers exposed to higher amounts of endotoxin and (1→3)-ß-D-glucan, had an increased risk for respiratory symptoms as compared to those with lower exposure. Stomach problems and nausea were associated to higher (1→3)-ß-D-glucan exposure. MRF 4 had a higher (1→3)-ß-D-glucan exposure compared to 7 and 9, and respiratory symptoms, unusual tiredness and vomiting were reported more often in MRF 4. Monocyte numbers and ESR were significantly decreased in MRF 4 compared to MRF 7 and 9.

Conclusion

The results suggest that MRF workers exposed to higher levels of endotoxin and (1→3)-ß-D-glucan exhibit various work-related symptoms. The decrease in ESR and monocyte numbers related to (1→3)-ß-D-glucan exposure can indicate that this agent has a blocking effect on the inflammatory response in blood.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
ISSN: 1097-0274
Keywords: household waste recycling; work-related symptoms; organic dust
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Engineering & Innovation
Item ID: 3979
Depositing User: Toni Gladding
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 10:18
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/3979
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