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Impairment of nasal mucociliary clearance in woodworkers in the furniture industry
  1. A. Black1,
  2. J. C. Evans1,
  3. Esme H. Hadfield2,
  4. R. G. Macbeth3,
  5. A. Morgan1,
  6. M. Walsh1
  1. 1Health Physics and Medical Division, Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, Didcot, Berks
  2. 2Wycombe General Hospital, High Wycombe, Bucks
  3. 3High Wycombe and District Furniture Manufacturers Nasal Survey


    Black, A., Evans, J. C., Hadfield, Esme H., Macbeth, R. G., Morgan, A., and Walsh, M. (1974).British Journal of Industrial Medicine,31, 10-17. Impairment of nasal mucociliary clearance in woodworkers in the furniture industry. Measurements of mucociliary clearance from the anterior end of the middle turbinate were made using technetium-99m-labelled particles in nine woodworkers from the furniture industry and in 12 controls, none of whom had been occupationally exposed to wood dust. Clearance rates in the controls ranged from 1·9 to 18·5 mm min-1 with a mean of 6·8. These values are in good agreement with measurements reported elsewhere for normal subjects. Only one of the woodworkers had a clearance rate which fell within the normal range and he had been occupationally exposed for the shortest period (6 years). In four woodworkers clearance was very slow (< 1 mm min-1) and in three there was almost complete stasis. The results of this preliminary investigation suggest that nasal mucociliary function is significantly impaired in workers who have been exposed to wood dust in the furniture industry for more than 10 years.

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