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Assessment of past exposure to man-made vitreous fibers in the Swedish prefabricated house industry.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
0271-3586
Publisher
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Volume
32
Issue
4
Pages
349–354
Identifiers
PMID: 9258388
Source
Medline

Abstract

Large quantities of man-made vitreous fibers (MMVF) are handled in the Swedish prefabricated wooden house industry. The present study is part of a program to investigate mortality, cancer incidence, and current as well as previous exposure to MMVF among workers in the Swedish prefabricated wooden house industry. Since measurements of historical fiber exposure levels are lacking, these were calculated by the application of a matrix of multipliers to recently measured MMVF levels. The multipliers represented changes over time in production rate, technical properties of the fibers, manual handling vs. automation, and ventilation control. The multipliers were based on a similar matrix, developed for the MMVF-manufacturing industry, which was modified to reflect the conditions in the wooden house industry. The model was developed for the highest-exposed job title in the study, insulators. One hundred and twenty samples of airborne fiber were taken in 11 plants to reflect current exposure levels. The highest mean fiber exposure level for insulators was assessed as 0.18 f/ml (geometric mean), which occurred during the mid-1970s, compared to 0.10 f/ml at the end of the 1980s and the early 1960s. Changes in production rate, improved ventilation control, and the surface area of the total amount of MMVF sheets handled per insulator were the most important variables of the model. No increased risk of lung cancer was found in the present industry.

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