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Epidemiological environmental study of diesel bus garage workers acute effects of nitrogen dioxide and respirable particulate on the respiratory system

, : Epidemiological environmental study of diesel bus garage workers acute effects of nitrogen dioxide and respirable particulate on the respiratory system. Environmental Research 42(1): 201-214

Personal samples of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and respirable particulate (RP) were collected over the shift on 232 workers in four diesel bus garages. Response was assessed by an acute respiratory questionnaire and before and after shift spirometry. Measures of exposure to NO2 and RP were associated with work-related symptoms of cough: itching, burning, or watering eyes; difficult or labored breathing; chest tightness; and wheeze. The prevalence of burning eyes, headaches, difficult or labored breathing, nausea, and wheeze experienced at work were higher in the diesel bus garage workers than in a comparison population of battery workers, while the prevalence of headaches was reduced. Mean reductions in forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1), peak flow, and flows at 50 and 75% of FVC were not obviously different from zero. There was no detectable association of exposure to NO2 or respirable particulate and acute reductions in pulmonary function. Workers who often had respiratory work-related symptoms generally had a slightly greater mean acute reduction in FEV1 and FEF50 than did those who did not have these symptoms, but these differences were not statisically significant.

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