Effects of informing workers of their health risks from exposure to toxic materials

Am J Ind Med. 1988;13(2):271-9. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700130208.


This study compared the mental health, attitudes, and smoking behaviors of 133 workers who had been informed of health risks from exposure to toxic materials on the job with 137 workers who worked in similar conditions but who had not been told that their health was at risk because of exposure to toxic materials. The informed workers reported more health problems than controls, but there were no significant differences between the informed and uninformed groups in mental health, attitudes toward health hazards in or outside of the workplace, or in smoking rates. Ninety percent of all respondents felt that exposed workers definitely should be told of their health risks. These findings indicate little psychological risk from informing workers about their risks because of exposure to toxic substances and a strong desire on the part of workers to be informed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asbestosis / prevention & control
  • Asbestosis / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Truth Disclosure*