Lung function and respiratory symptoms among workers in a soft paper mill

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1989;61(7):467-71. doi: 10.1007/BF00386481.


The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to investigate whether long-term exposure to soft paper dust causes impairment of lung function. Exposed workers (n = 287) and referents (n = 79) were investigated, using spirometry and questionnaires. Personal samplings of total dust showed that the actual mean concentrations did not exceed 3 mg/m3. The exposed subjects were divided into three categories according to historical and present exposure to paper dust; low exposure, moderate exposure and high exposure. The study did not show any lung function impairment due to exposure to paper dust. However, the exposed subjects had a significantly increased prevalence of symptoms from both the upper and lower airways as well as an increased prevalence of reported asthma. On the basis of our study, we conclude that lung function impairment does not occur among workers exposed to mean levels of soft paper dust below 5 mg/m3.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dust / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology
  • Paper*
  • Spirometry
  • Sweden


  • Dust