Medline ® Abstracts for References 30,51

of 'Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome and irritant-induced asthma'

30
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Pulmonary disease in rescue workers at the World Trade Center site.
AU
Banauch GI, Dhala A, Prezant DJ
SO
Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2005;11(2):160.
 
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The catastrophic collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers on September 11, 2001 created a large-scale disaster site in a densely populated urban environment. Over the ensuing months, tens of thousands of rescue, recovery and cleanup workers, volunteers, and residents of the adjacent community were exposed to a complex mixture of airborne pollutants. This review focuses on currently described respiratory syndromes, symptoms, and physiologic derangements in WTC rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers, discusses potential long-term effects on respiratory health, and draws parallels to community findings.
RECENT FINDINGS: Detailed qualitative and quantitative analyses of airborne pollutants with their changing composition during initial rescue/recovery and subsequent cleanup have been published. Major concerns include persistent aerodigestive tract inflammatory syndromes, such as reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), reactive upper airways dysfunction syndrome (RUDS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and inflammatory pulmonary parenchymal syndromes, as well as respiratory tract and nonrespiratory malignancies. Aerodigestive tract inflammatory syndromes have now been documented in WTC exposed occupational groups, and syndrome incidence has been linked to WTC airborne pollutant exposure intensity. Community based investigations have yielded similar findings.
SUMMARY: While it is too early to ascertain long-term effects of WTC dust exposure, current studies already demonstrate a definite link between exposure to WTC-derived airborne pollutants and respiratory disease, both in the occupational and the community setting. A better understanding of causes and effects of this exposure will help in developing appropriate preventative tools for rescue workers in future disasters.
AD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA. hbanauch@montefiore.org
PMID
51
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Survey of construction workers repeatedly exposed to chlorine over a three to six month period in a pulpmill: I. Exposure and symptomatology.
AU
Courteau JP, Cushman R, Bouchard F, Quévillon M, Chartrand A, Bhérer L
SO
Occup Environ Med. 1994;51(4):219.
 
OBJECTIVE: The admission to hospital of three construction workers with acute respiratory distress caused by inhalation of chlorine gas prompted the inspection of a building site located in a kraft pulpmill. The accidental emissions had taken place in the bleach plant and the construction workers assigned there were surveyed to uncover possible large scale health effects.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A questionnaire was presented to 281 workers (participation rate = 97%); 257 workers reported an average of 24 exposure episodes to chlorine and derivatives over a three to six month period. The air monitoring data available from the pulpmill's industrial hygienist were not useful in linking specific events reported by the workers to environmental conditions in the bleach plant.
RESULTS: Over 60% of the workers described a characteristic flu like syndrome that lasted for an average of 11 days and was exacerbated by new bouts of exposure. Irritation of the throat (78%) and eyes (77%), cough (67%), and headache (63%) were the most often reported symptoms. Shortness of breath was reported by 54% of the participants and was not associated with age, smoking state, or history of asthma or chronic bronchitis. First aid self referral was associated with significantly greater reporting of most symptoms, including dyspnoea and cough. A significantly greater proportion of workers in the dyspnoea group had gone at least once for first aid care after a gassing incident (64% as opposed to 48%, p = 0.008). Throat irritation and cough persisted for mean intervals of eight and 11 days respectively. A flu like syndrome lasted for an average of 20 days. Seventy one subjects were considered to be a moderate to high risk of having persisting respiratory symptoms.
CONCLUSION: Throat and eye irritation as well as cough and flu like symptoms are frequent occurrences after repeated accidental inhalation of chlorine. Subjects who consulted first aid care stations after a gassing incident are more likely to have persisting dyspnoea.
AD
Outaouais Community Health Department (DSC), Hull, Quebec, Canada.
PMID