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Title: Lung function in relation to silicosis and silica exposure in granite workers
Authors: Ng, T.-P. 
Chan, S.-L.
Keywords: Lung function
Massive fibrosis
Mixed dust fibrosis
Issue Date: 1992
Citation: Ng, T.-P., Chan, S.-L. (1992). Lung function in relation to silicosis and silica exposure in granite workers. European Respiratory Journal 5 (8) : 986-991. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Lung function tests (forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV 1), forced vital capacity (FVC) and FEV 1/FVC %) were related to silica exposure and the extent of radiological opacities in a study of 206 active and 132 previously employed granite workers from two quarries. The investigations included detailed personal interviews, spirometric testing and radiographic examination of the chest. The chest X-ray films were read randomly and independently by three readers, using International Labour Office (ILO) standard films. Cumulative exposure to respirable silica (mg·m -3-yr) and total granite dust (million particles per cubic foot (mppcf-yr)) were estimated for each subject based on his years of employment at various jobs and historical and current measurements of quarry-, period- and job-specific exposures. The results suggest that chronic simple silicosis, especially for profusion category 2 and 3, was associated with significant lung function loss. As expected, mixed dust fibrosis was associated with little or no functional disturbance. Massive fibrosis was associated with significant obstructive and restrictive impairment. No additional effect of exposure to respirable silica on lung function loss was found after allowing for the presence of 'silicosis'. However, exposure to total dust (mppcf-yr) appeared to be associated with some lung function loss independent of silicosis. Our results indicate that chronic simple silicosis is not a benign disease; silica exposure is the primary cause, but the lung function loss in silicotics is directly attributable to the fibrotic lung disease. However, exposure to total granite dust beyond the respirable size range may separately produce additional lung function loss.
Source Title: European Respiratory Journal
ISSN: 09031936
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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