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Insulation workers in Belfast. 1. Comparison of a random sample with a control population
  1. William F. M. Wallace,
  2. Jean H. M. Langlands
  1. Department of Physiology, Medical Biology Centre, Lisburn Road, Belfast
  2. Respiratory Investigation Unit, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast


    Wallace, W. F. M., and Langlands, J. H. M. (1971).Brit. J. industr. Med.,28, 211-216. Insulation workers in Belfast. 1. Comparison of a random sample with a control population. A sample of 50 men was chosen at random from the population of asbestos insulators in Belfast and matched with a control series of men of similar occupational group with respect to age, height, and smoking habit.

    Significantly more of the insulators complained of cough and sputum and had basal rales on examination. Clubbing was assessed by means of measurements of the hyponychial angle of both index fingers. These angles were significantly greater in the group of insulators.

    Twenty-one insulators had ϰ-rays which showed pleural calcification with or without pulmonary fibrosis; one control ϰ-ray showed pulmonary fibrosis.

    The insulators had no evidence of airways obstruction but static lung volume was reduced and their arterial oxygen tension was lower than that of the controls and their alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient was greater.

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    • 1 This investigation was carried out in the Department of Therapeutics, Institute of Clinical Science, Grosvenor Road, Belfast 12.