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J Occup Environ Med. 2015 Jan;57(1):79-87. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000304.

Particulate matter, endotoxin, and worker respiratory health on large Californian dairies.

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From the Department of Public Health Sciences (Drs Mitchell, Schenker, and Bennett, Langer,* and Ms Armitage); Department of Pediatrics (Dr Tancredi), University of California Davis; Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences (Dr Reynolds); Center for Environmental Medicine (Dr Dooley), Colorado State University, Ft Collins; and (Dr Mitloehner) Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis. *Dr Langer's current address is Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Barcelona, Spain.



To assess respiratory exposures and lung function in a cross-sectional study of California dairy workers.


Exposure of 205 dairy and 45 control (vegetable processing) workers to particulate matter and endotoxin was monitored. Pre- and postshift spirometry and interviews were conducted.


Geometric mean inhalable and PM2.5 concentrations were 812 and 35.3 μg/m3 versus 481.9 and 19.6 μg/m3, respectively, for dairy and control workers. Endotoxin concentrations were 329 EU/m3 or 1122 pmol/m3 and 13.5 EU/m3 or 110 pmol/m3, respectively, for dairy and control workers. In a mixed-effects model, forced vital capacity decreased across a work shift by 24.5 mL (95% confidence interval, -44.7 to -4.3; P = 0.018) with log10 (total endotoxin) and by 22.0 mL (95% confidence interval, -43.2 to -0.08; P = 0.042) per hour worked.


Modern California dairy endotoxin exposures and shift length were associated with a mild acute decrease in forced vital capacity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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