Background: Prevalence of exposure related respiratory symptoms and decreases in lung function are unknown among quartz dust exposed construction workers.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study (n = 1335), the occurrence of respiratory symptoms, was recorded and spirometric lung function was measured. Results were associated with exposure data and presence of radiographic abnormalities and compared with a reference population.
Results: Pneumoconiosis (profusion category 1/1 or greater) was associated with increased risks of FEV(1) and FVC values in the lowest 5% group, and with group-based decreases of 270 ml/s and 180 ml, respectively. Average lung function of construction workers was somewhat lower compared to a Dutch reference population. Lung function was not associated with exposure, except for a reduction in FVC of 5 ml per year for those with higher exposure.
Conclusions: In quartz dust exposed construction workers obstructive and restrictive lung function loss was detected.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.