A cross-sectional survey of respiratory and general health outcomes among semiconductor industry workers

Am J Ind Med. 1995 Dec;28(6):847-60. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700280616.


As part of the Semiconductor Health Study, we performed a cross-sectional survey to assess prevalence of specific nonreproductive health outcomes and their association with occupational exposures. A total of 3,175 persons from eight manufacturing sites across the U.S. completed a health and work questionnaire (78% participation rate). After adjusting for confounders, responses from fabrication room (fab) workers indicated a greater risk than those of nonfab workers for upper respiratory symptoms (relative risk [RR] = 1.08; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03-1.13); a dose-response effect with hours per day spent in fabs was observed. Fab workers also had greater prevalence for persistent wheezing (RR = 1.82; 95% CI = 1.15-2.87), dermatitis within the past year (RR = 1.19; 95% CI = 1.04-1.35), and alopecia (RR = 1.73; 95% CI = 1.16-2.54). Female sex, a somatization index score, and smoking were important nonoccupational covariates. Increased respiratory symptoms may result from occupational exposures in fabs; further research is needed to identify causal agents and develop prevention strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Semiconductors*