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Prevalence of Chronic Respiratory Disease in a Pulp Mill and a Paper Mill in the United States
  1. B. G. Ferris, Jr.,,
  2. W. A. Burgess,
  3. J. Worcester
  1. aDivision of Environmental Health Sciences and Engineering, and the Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115


    A sample of 147 men drawn from the workers in a pulp mill was compared with one of 124 men from a paper mill. The former included those exposed to chlorine and to sulphur dioxide. No significant differences were found in respiratory symptoms or in simple tests of ventilatory function in the two samples, but men working in chlorine had a somewhat poorer respiratory function and more shortness of breath than those working in sulphur dioxide.

    The working population of both mills together had a lower prevalence of respiratory disease than that of the male population of Berlin, N.H., previously studied, suggesting that working populations may not be representative of the general population. Further, a low prevalence of disease in a working population exposed to pollutants may not indicate their `safety' in general populations.

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    • 1 This study was supported in part by U.S. Public Health Service Grant OH-67.