Article Text

PDF

Two year follow up of pulmonary function values among welders in New Zealand.
  1. R Erkinjuntti-Pekkanen,
  2. T Slater,
  3. S Cheng,
  4. D Fishwick,
  5. L Bradshaw,
  6. M Kimbell-Dunn,
  7. L Dronfield,
  8. N Pearce
  1. Department of Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine, New Zealand.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: To examine whether welding is a risk factor for an accelerated decline in pulmonary function. METHODS: 2 Year follow up of pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms among 54 welders and 38 non-welders in eight New Zealand welding sites. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in age, height, smoking habits, ethnicity, or total time in industrial work between welders and non-welders. No overall differences were noted in the changes of pulmonary function variables between the two study groups. However, when the comparison was restricted to smokers, welders had a significantly greater (p = 0.02) annual decline (88.8 ml) in FEV1 than non-welders, who had a slight non-significant annual increase (34.2 ml). Also, welders without respiratory protection or local exhaust ventilation while welding had a greater annual decline both in forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) than welders with protection (p = 0.001 and 0.04, respectively). Among welders a significant association was found between the acute across shift change and the annual decline in FEV1. Chronic bronchitis was more common among welders (24%) than non-welders (5%). Only one welder (2%) but eight non-welders (21%) reported having asthma. CONCLUSIONS: Welders who smoked and welders working without local exhaust ventilation or respiratory protection have an increased risk of accelerated decline in FEV1.

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.