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[Study of mechanical irritation effects in workers exposed to rock wool].

[Article in Chinese]

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1
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the effects of mechanical irritation to the skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract in workers exposed to rock wool.

METHODS:

The gravimetric concentration of total dust and number concentration of fibre in the air of the rock wool workplace were determined . 109 rock wool manufacturing and processing workers were taken as the exposed group, 104 workers from an air separation plant, a papermaking plant and cover making plant were served as control group. All subjects accepted the questionnaire interview and clinical examination of the skin, eyes, nose and the pharynx.

RESULTS:

10.1% of the exposed group had the irritant contact dermatitis, which showed linear trend with the current gravimetric concentration of total dust (P < 0.05) but no association with the exposure age (P > 0.05), and the detection rate of conjunctivitis of the exposed group (12.8%) was significantly higher than the control group (2.8%) (P < 0.05). The percentages of shin and eye itching symptoms of the exposed group (54.1% and 42.9%) were significantly higher than the control group (11.5% and 26.5%) (P < 0.05), but the differences among/between the exposed subgroups with different exposure level and different exposure age were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). The differences of the detection rate of chronic rhinitis and chronic pharyngitis and the percentages of the symptoms of nose and pharynx between the exposed group and control group were not statistically significant (P > 0.05), except the rhinorrhea symptom.

CONCLUSIONS:

Occupational exposure to rock wool had some degree of the mechanical irritation effects on the skin and eyes. The current exposure level of total dust should be emphatically controlled.

PMID:
23433159
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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