Inflammatory response to acute exposure to welding fumes during the working day
Paula Kauppi 2,3,4
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Aerosols, Dusts and Metals, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
Occupational Medicine, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
Skin and Allergy Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
Skin and Allergy Hospital, Meilahdentie 2, PO Box 160, FI-00029 HUS, Helsinki, Finland
Statistical Services, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
Physical Work Capacity, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
The Immunopharmacology Research Group, Medical School, University of Tampere and Research Unit, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
The Hjelt Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2013;26(2):220-9
Objectives: To investigate cardiorespiratory and inflammatory responses in male workers following exposure to welding fumes and airborne particles in actual workplace conditions. Materials and Methods: We measured blood leukocytes and their differential counts, platelet count, hemoglobin, sensitive C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, E-selectin, IL-(interleukin)1β, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and endothelin-1 in blood samples of twenty workers before and after their working day. We also studied peak expiratory flow (PEF), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and exhaled nitric oxide (NO). We assessed heart rate variability (HRV) by obtaining 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiograms. Results: The total blood leukocytes and neutrophils increased after the work shift, whereas IL-1β and E-selectin decreased significantly. There were no tatistically significant changes in exhaled NO, FEV1, PEF or HRV. Conclusion: Occupational exposure to welding fumes and particles caused a slight, acute inflammatory effect estimated based on the increased values of leukocytes and neutrophils in blood and a decrease in the interleukin 1β and E-selectin values, but no changes in the pulmonary function (exhaled NO, FEV1, PEF) or HRV during the working day were observed.
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