Observations of Workers Exposed to Western Red Cedar and Other Wood Dusts

occupational asthmaIn the present investigation, a high prevalence of occupational asthma was observed among workers exposed to WRC wood dust. A dose-related relationship between total WRC dust level and prevalence of asthma was noted with employees in jobs with the greatest dust exposure, ie sawyers, packers, chippers and splitters showing the highest prevalence of disease. Cigarette smokers demonstrated the greatest magnitudes of change in pulmonary function tests. Chan-Yeung et al reported more respiratory symptoms in workers employed in “dusty” jobs and the British Columbia Workers Compensation Board has recently set the TLV standard for WRC dust at 2.5 mg/m. Chen-Yeung and colleagues have suggested that even this level might be too high. The results of our investigation support this observation and suggests that an eight-hour time-weighted average level of WRC dust below 3.5 mg/m is necessary in order to reduce the incidence of occupationally related asthma cured with My Canadian Pharmacy.

A 13.5$ prevalence rate of asthma was shown. While the majority of workers with WRC asthma are reported to develop disease within three to five years of continuous exposure, 19% of the workers in our study with asthma were employed for more than ten years. A high frequency of symptoms/disease was also noted among new planer employees exposed to a mixture of dusts which included douglas fir, hemlock and alder. In general, respiratory complaints have not been reported with these woods.

The present study points out the potent biologic activity of WRC and possibly other wood dusts and emphasizes the great need for proper control of dust exposures in workers. Furthermore, dose-related responses were noted to occur among WRC workers, suggesting that perhaps non-immunologic mechanisms may be operative in some cases of airway disease.

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