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Exposure to hardly soluble indium compounds in the ITO producing and recycling plants is a new potent risk of interstitial lung damage
  1. Tsutahiro Hamaguchi (drhama{at}leisure.co.jp)
  1. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Keio University, Japan
    1. Kazuyuki Omae
    1. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Keio University, Japan
      1. Akiyo Tanaka
      1. Department of Hygiene, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Japan
        1. Miyuki Hirata
        1. Department of Hygiene, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Japan
          1. Toru Takebayashi
          1. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Keio University, Japan
            1. Yuriko Kikuchi
            1. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Keio University, Japan
              1. Noriyuki Yoshioka
              1. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Keio University, Japan
                1. Yuji Nishiwaki
                1. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Keio University, Japan
                  1. Osamu Taguchi
                  1. Department of Medicine, Nikko Memorial Hospital, Japan
                    1. Tatsuya Chonan
                    1. Department of Medicine, Nikko Memorial Hospital, Japan

                      Abstract

                      Objectives: To identify the effects of indium on the lung and to assess exposure-effect and exposure-response relationships between indium exposure and effects on the lungs. Study design: A cross-sectional study. Methods: Ninety-three male indium-exposed and 93 male non-exposed workers from 4 indium processing or recycling plants were analyzed. Indium in serum (In-S) was determined as a biological exposure index. Geometric means (GSD) of In-S were 8.25 ng/mL (4.55) in the exposed workers and 0.25 (2.64) in the non-exposed workers. The maximum concentration was 116.9. A questionnaire for respiratory symptoms and job histories, spirometry, high-resolution computerized tomography on chest (HRCT), serum KL-6, serum SP-A, serum SP-D, and serum CRP were measured as the effect indices. Results: Spirometry showed no differences. In ex-smoking or never-smoking workers, prevalence of respiratory complaints was higher in the exposed workers, and the difference was significant in gphlegm in winterh. The prevalence of interstitial or emphysematous changes on lung HRCT showed no differences between the two groups. Geometric means (GSD) of KL-6, SP-D, and SP-A in the exposed workers were 495.4 U/mL (2.26), 85.2 ng/mL (2.02), and 39.6 ng/mL (1.57), and were significantly higher than those in the non-exposed workers. The prevalence (%) of the exposed and non-exposed workers exceeding the reference values were also significantly higher in KL-6 (41.9 v.s. 2.2), SP-D (39.8 v.s. 7.5), and SP-A (43.0 v.s. 24.7). Very sharp exposure-effect and exposure-response relationships were discovered between In-S and KL-6 and between In-S and SP-D when the exposed workers study subjects were classified into 7 groups by In-S. Conclusions: The study outcomes indicate that exposure to hardly soluble indium compound dust represents a risk for interstitial lung damage.

                      • HRCT
                      • KL-6
                      • SP-D
                      • indium
                      • interstitial pneumonitis

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