Effects of grain dust on lungs prior to and following dust remediation

J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Dec;50(12):1394-400. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181884be0.


Objective: To determine longitudinal estimates of pulmonary function decline in Canadian grain elevator workers before and after dust control by analyzing data collected from five regions of Canada over 15 years.

Methods: Declines in forced expired volume in one second and forced vital capacity before and after dust control were estimated by using a generalized estimating equations approach.

Results: For grain workers who were in the grain industry for 20 or more years both before and after dust control: the mean annual loss of forced expired volume in one second was greatest among current smoking grain workers followed by ex-smokers and nonsmokers, respectively. Similar results were obtained for forced vital capacity.

Conclusions: Grain dust control was effective in reducing decline in the lung function measurements among grain workers in all smoking and exposure categories.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agriculture
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects*
  • Canada
  • Dust* / prevention & control
  • Edible Grain / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Vital Capacity


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Dust