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Induced sputum, exhaled breath condensate and nasal lavage fluid in electroplating workers exposed to chromium

Induced sputum, exhaled breath condensate and nasal lavage fluid in electroplating workers exposed to chromium

International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology 19(4): 67-71

ISSN/ISBN: 0394-6320

PMID: 17291410

Occupational exposure to chromium may cause airway inflammation and bronchial asthma. In this study we investigated the effect of chromium on the respiratory tract of exposed and non-exposed electroplating workers using spirometry and analysis of induced sputum (IS), exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and nasal lavage fluid (NLF). In both groups spirometry was normal; chromium in induced sputum was higher in exposed workers (7.90 +/- 0.855 microg/L, vs 1.78 +/- 0.075 microg/L; p<0.001); no significant difference was found in induced sputum cellularity. Median nitrite concentration in EBC was significantly higher in exposed subjects (4.35 micromol/L, 5 degrees -95 degrees percentile: 1.88-10.13 vs 0.11 micromol/L, 5-95 percentile: 0-0.72) (p<0.001). IL-6 and TNF-alpha were not detectable in EBC. Median IL-6 concentration in nasal lavage fluid was higher in exposed workers (5.72 pg/ml, 5-95 percentile: 0-65.25 pg/ml vs 0.28 pg/ml, 5-95 percentile: 0-1.7 pg/ml) (p<0.01). No differences in Eosinophil Cationic Protein concentration were found. TNF-alpha was not detectable in NLF. Chromium in induced sputum correlated with nitrites in EBC. For the first time three non-invasive methods were used to assess changes in respiratory tract in workers exposed to chromium. The results suggest chromium exerts an inflammatory/irritative action on airways.

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Accession: 049335088

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