The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

FOUR YEAR PROSPECTIVE STUDY OF LUNG FUNCTION IN COLLISION REPAIR WORKERS

Donna McFarlin BS RRT, Jon Gietzen BS RRT, Barrie March MD, Judy Schloss BS RRT, Wendy Schumacher BS CRTT, North Dakota State University /MeritCare Respiratory Care Program, Fargo, ND 58122

Purpose: Di-isocyanates (DI), which can cause occupational lung disease, are found in many products used in the collision repair industry. Collision repair workers (CRW) are exposed to varying levels of DI dependent on equipment in use, shop ventilation, and volume of repairs in progress. We hypothesized a CRW who smoked (Smk) would have a worse PFT than the CRW who did not smoke (NonSmk), or from the CRW who had smoked previously but had now quit (QuitSmk). We previously found no difference in PFT in Smk vs NonSmk vs the general population. We report the results of a 4 year study of PFT in CRW's. Methods: We tested 38 CRW volunteers twice with a four year interval between tests. Consent was implied by participation in testing. We used a PFT machine calibrated to meet ATS guidelines. Once a proper FV loop was obtained, the test with the highest value for FVC and FEV1, was reported for analysis. Results: Data was analyzed using ANOVA utilizing Statistix software. Significance was to occur with a p < .05.

NonSmk n=21 Quit Smk n=11 Smk n=6 p

Age (yrs) 41.6± 8.7 48.4±10 42.2±7.8 .13

Ht (ins) 70.7± 2.8 70.4±2.6 69.2±3.2 .49

Wt (lbs) 199±29.0 191±29.5 188±27.0 .65

Pkyrs ---- 16.2±16.8 28.7±17.6 ---

CRWyrs 18.8±10.5 20±7.9 23±9.9 .59

FVC(l) Initial 5.05±.90 4.85±1.25 4.92±1.18 .87

FVC 4yr 5.15±.84 4.89±1.26 4.89±1.33 .76

FEV1(l) Initial 4.06±.69 3.84±.97 4.01±1.14 .78

FEV1 4yr 4.19±.81 3.89±.91 4.09±1.24 .68

FEV % Initial .80±.05 .78±.05 .83±.05 .26

FEV % 4yr .81±.08 .80±.06 .83±.05 .70

Conclusions: The lung related effects of di-isocynate can range from hypersensitivity pneumonitis to chronic asthma. Others have demonstrated an increased rate of FVC loss in CRW who have smoked when compared to nonsmoking CRW.^{1} The subjects we studied are from a rural state where the only significant factors affecting lung function would be smoking history and occupation. We found no significant difference in lung function of the two populations. However, continued study of the CRW is still indicated due to the exposure risk of this environment.

1. Tornling, et al, Am-J-Ind-Med, 1990:17(3):299-310

OF-97-012

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