Exposure to SO2 does not have a chronic effect on pulmonary functions of apricot workers

Inhal Toxicol. 2010 Feb;22(3):219-23. doi: 10.3109/08958370903176743.


The authors have previously demonstrated that apricot sulfurization workers develop asthma-like syndrome during apricot sulfurization due to exposure to sulfur dioxide (SO(2)) gas. The aim of the current study was to demonstrate if exposure to SO(2) gas had any chronic effects on pulmonary functions and bronchial reactivity of the workers. Twenty-five apricot sulfurization workers and a control group were included in the study. Physical examination, skin prick tests, pulmonary function tests (PFTs), and bronchoprovocation tests (BPTs) were performed before and after the season of sulfurization in the worker group. Skin prick tests, PFTs, and BPTs were performed also in the control group without a history of exposure to SO(2) gas. There was no statistically significant difference between PFT and BPT results of the workers and the control group. Comparison of the PFT results of the workers before and after the season of apricot sulfurization neither reveal a significant difference. Four (16%) out of 25 workers were positive for BPTs before the period. Only one worker who had a negative BPT result before the sulfurization season was positive afterwards. The lack of a chronic effect on pulmonary functions is consistent with the diagnosis of asthma-like syndrome in apricot sulfurization workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / chemically induced
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Air Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Asthma / chemically induced
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prunus*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Skin Tests
  • Sulfur Dioxide / toxicity*
  • Young Adult


  • Air Pollutants
  • Sulfur Dioxide