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Occup Environ Med. 2002 Jan;59(1):9-12.

Increase in interleukin-6 and fibrinogen after exposure to dust in tunnel construction workers.

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  • 1Department of Occupational Medicine, University Hospital of Trondheim, N-7006 Trondheim, Norway.



To see if there is any change in blood concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and fibrinogen during a working shift in tunnel construction workers.


12 Tunnel construction workers were followed up during a 24 hours period after returning from a 9 day work free period. The first blood sample was taken on Monday afternoon before starting the shift. Another was taken around midnight after 8 hours of work, and another the next afternoon after about 12 hours of rest. Exposure to respirable dust was measured by personal samplers.


The exposure of the workers to respirable dust, in terms of an 8 hour time weighted average, varied between 0.3 and 1.9 mg/m(3). For IL-6, there was an increase in the median serum concentration from 1.14 ng/l before starting the shift to 4.86 ng/l after 8 hours of work (p=0.002). For fibrinogen, there was an increase in the median concentration from 3.40 g/l before entering the shift to 3.70 g/l 24 hours later (p=0.044). There was a positive correlation between values of IL-6 at the end of the working shift and the fibrinogen concentrations the next afternoon (Pearson's R=0.73, p=0.007). The observed increase in IL-6 was significant for both smokers and non-smokers.


The study shows an increase in both IL-6 and fibrinogen concentrations during a working shift for both smoking and non-smoking tunnel construction workers.

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