Exposure and airway effects of seafood industry workers in northern Norway

J Occup Environ Med. 2005 May;47(5):482-92. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000161732.96555.2b.


Objective: In this study, we explored airway symptoms and exposure to bioaerosols and exhaust gases in seafood industry plants.

Methods: The study details the results from personal and environmental exposure measurements (17 plants), a questionnaire (n = 984), and clinical examinations (n = 225).

Results: The workers were exposed to allergens, endotoxins, molds, and exhaust. The 1-year prevalence of work-related airway symptoms was 42.8% for production workers and 25.9% for administrative workers. Mean levels of forced expiratory volume in 1 second and forced vital capacity were less than the predicted values in all exposed nonsmoker groups. A total of 20.5% had increased levels of total IgE (>/=100 kU/L). Specific IgE-mediated reactions seemed to be relevant only in the shrimp industry.

Conclusions: Seafood industry workers showed a high prevalence of work-related airway symptoms. Further research on the relationship between exposure and effects is necessary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis
  • Female
  • Food-Processing Industry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / metabolism
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / immunology
  • Occupational Diseases / metabolism
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / immunology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / metabolism
  • Seafood / statistics & numerical data
  • Seafood / toxicity*
  • Sex Distribution


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Immunoglobulin E