There has been conflicting evidence regarding the association between exposure to cement dust and respiratory health effects. The objectives of the present studies were to investigate this relationship further and also include measurements of systemic inflammatory markers. The initial study did not reveal differences in the prevalence of respiratory symptoms, or pulmonary function indices between exposed workers and controls. However, a second study demonstrated a significantly higher percentage of neutrophils, and increased levels of the inflammatory marker interleukin-1ƒÒ in induced sputum samples from exposed workers, when compared with controls. In a cross-shift study we found a decline in dynamic lung volumes, lung diffusion capacity, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide levels, accompanied by increased numbers of leukocytes, elevated levels of fibrinogen and tumor necrosis factor, in addition to reduced levels of the anti-inflammatory marker IL-10. Finally, a cross-sectional study of workers from eight European countries showed elevated odds ratios for respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation. This study also suggested a dose-response relationship between the level of exposure to cement production dust and lung function impairment.
List of papers. Papers I, II and IV are removed from the thesis due to copyright restrictions.
Fell AK, Thomassen TR, Kristensen P, Egeland T, Kongerud J:
Respiratory Symptoms and Ventilatory Function in Workers Exposed to Portland Cement Dust
J Occup Environ Med 2003;45:1008-14.
Fell AK, Sikkeland LI, Svendsen MV, Kongerud J:
Airway inflammation in cement production workers
Occup Environ Med 2010;67:395-400.
Fell AK, Notø H, Skogstad S, Nordby KC, Eduard W, Svendsen MV, Øvstebø R, Trøseid AM, Kongerud J:
A cross-shift study of lung function, exhaled nitric oxide and inflammatory markers in blood in Norwegian cement production workers
Occup Environ Med Published Online First 5 February 2011
Nordby KC, Fell AK, Notø H, Eduard W, Skogstad M, Thomassen Y, Bergamaschi A, Kongerud J, Kjuus H:
Exposure to thoracic dust, airway symptoms, and lung function in cement production workers
Eur Respir J. Published Epub ahead of print 2011 Jun 9.