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Exposure to biogenic silica fibers and respiratory health in Hawaii sugarcane workers.

Authors
  • Sinks, T
  • Hartle, R
  • Boeniger, M
  • Mannino, D
  • Boyd, J E
  • Fernback, J
  • Hawkins, M
  • Grimes, G
  • Watkins, K L
  • Dill, P
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of occupational medicine. : official publication of the Industrial Medical Association
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1994
Volume
36
Issue
12
Pages
1329–1334
Identifiers
PMID: 7884574
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We conducted a cross-sectional environmental and medical survey of 355 male sugarcane workers in Hawaii to determine whether exposure to biogenic silica fibers (BSF) affected their respiratory health. Exposures to BSF ranged from nondetectable to more than 0.700 BSF/mL and varied by job and department. Respiratory symptoms, chest radiograph findings, and pulmonary function were not associated with BSF exposures. Cigarette smoking was associated with respiratory symptoms and pulmonary obstruction. Fifteen workers had pleural thickening or pleural plaques and 3 of these workers were exposed to BSF for more than 10 years. BSF exposure does not appear to influence the respiratory health of sugarcane workers; however, further study is warranted.

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