Respiratory effects of bioaerosols: exposure-response study among salmon-processing workers

Am J Ind Med. 2014 Mar;57(3):276-85. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22281. Epub 2013 Dec 6.


Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine exposure-response relationships in salmon-processing workers.

Methods: Cross-shift FEV1, acute respiratory symptoms, and exposure to total protein, parvalbumin and endotoxin were main variables measured during one workweek. Exposure-response relationships were analyzed by Generalized Estimation Equations of cross-week data and by multiple regressions of day-to-day data.

Results: Exposure levels were higher in those workers who reported use of water hose. GEE showed negative coefficients for interaction between TP exposure and time (days) on cross-week change of FEV1. Multiple regressions showed significant associations between TP levels and cross-shift change of FEV1 and symptoms (cough, chest tightness) only for Monday shifts.

Conclusions: A tolerance effect during the course of a workweek is suggested. Use of water hose is a risk process with regard to the liberation of measured components of bioaerosols.

Keywords: bioaerosols; exposure-response; lung function; respiratory symptoms; tolerance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aerosols
  • Animals
  • Cough / epidemiology*
  • Dyspnea / epidemiology*
  • Endotoxins / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Food Handling*
  • Food-Processing Industry
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Occupational Health
  • Parvalbumins / toxicity*
  • Pharyngitis / epidemiology
  • Proteins / toxicity
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Rhinitis / epidemiology
  • Salmon
  • Sneezing


  • Aerosols
  • Endotoxins
  • Parvalbumins
  • Proteins