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Chest. 2002 Jun;121(6):2044-51.

A longitudinal study of chest radiographic changes of workers in the refractory ceramic fiber industry.

Author information

1
Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056, USA.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

This industry-wide longitudinal study examines chest radiographic changes of workers manufacturing refractory ceramic fibers (RCF).

DESIGN:

Chest radiographs were obtained every 3 years and were interpreted using the 1980 International Labour Organization classification for pneumoconiosis. Three exposure metrics were calculated: duration and latency in a production job, and cumulative exposure (fiber-months per cubic centimeter).

PARTICIPANTS:

The radiographic survey included 625 current workers at five manufacturing sites and 383 former workers at two of the five sites.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

Pleural changes were seen in 27 workers (2.7%). Of workers with > 20 years of latency from initial production job or 20 years of duration in a production job, 16 workers (8.0%) and 5 workers (8.1%) demonstrated pleural changes, respectively. Results from the cumulative exposure analysis (> 135 fiber-months per cubic centimeter) demonstrated a significant elevated odds ratio (OR) of 6.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 31.0). The incidence of irregular opacities at profusion categories > or = 1/0 was similar to other nonspecified dust-exposed worker populations at 1.0%, and showed a nonsignificant elevated OR in regard to cumulative fiber exposure of 4.7 (95% CI, 0.97 to 23.5).

CONCLUSIONS:

RCF are significantly associated with pleural changes that were predominantly pleural plaques, but have not resulted in a statistically significant increase in interstitial changes.

PMID:
12065376
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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