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N-nitrosamines in the southern Swedish rubber industries - exposure, health effects, and immunologic markers

Jönsson, Lena S LU ; Lindh, Christian LU ; Bergendorf, Ulf LU ; Axmon, Anna LU ; Littorin, Margareta and Jönsson, Bo A LU (2009) In Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 35(3). p.11-203
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was twofold: (i) to evaluate the air levels of N-nitrosamines in the Swedish rubber industry and (ii) to estimate the risk of symptoms and changed levels of immunologic markers in relation to these levels.

METHODS: Using adsorption tubes, we collected samples of N-nitrosamines in the breathing zone of 96 rubber workers and analyzed them with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Of these 96 workers, 66 were included in a medical examination and blood analysis together with an additional 106 rubber workers and 118 unexposed subjects. Medical and occupational histories were obtained in structured interviews, symptoms were recorded and immunologic markers analyzed in blood.

RESULTS:... (More)

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was twofold: (i) to evaluate the air levels of N-nitrosamines in the Swedish rubber industry and (ii) to estimate the risk of symptoms and changed levels of immunologic markers in relation to these levels.

METHODS: Using adsorption tubes, we collected samples of N-nitrosamines in the breathing zone of 96 rubber workers and analyzed them with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Of these 96 workers, 66 were included in a medical examination and blood analysis together with an additional 106 rubber workers and 118 unexposed subjects. Medical and occupational histories were obtained in structured interviews, symptoms were recorded and immunologic markers analyzed in blood.

RESULTS: The sum of N-nitrosamines ranged from less than the limit of detection to 36 microg/m (3)and differed with the vulcanization (ie, curing process) method used. Workers vulcanizing with a salt bath had the highest levels (median 4.2 microg/m (3)). Compared to the unexposed subjects, the rubber workers had an increased risk of nosebleeds, eye and throat symptoms, hoarseness, cough, nausea, headache, and changed levels of eosinophils and total immunoglobulin G (IgG). However, we found no clear exposure-response relationship with the symptoms or the immunologic markers studied.

CONCLUSIONS: High levels of N-nitrosamines were found and must be lowered considerably in order to decrease the risk of cancer. There is a need for an occupational exposure limit for N-nitrosamines in Sweden. The lack of exposure-response relationships with the subacute symptoms examined in this study may be due to a healthy-worker selection or to the possibility that the symptoms are caused by an exposure not co-varying with N-nitrosamines.

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subject
keywords
Adult, Aged, Air Pollutants, Occupational, Biomarkers, Case-Control Studies, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Eosinophils, Extraction and Processing Industry, Female, Humans, Immunoglobulin G, Immunoglobulin M, Inhalation Exposure, Male, Middle Aged, Nitrosamines, Occupational Diseases, Respiratory Tract Diseases, Risk Assessment, Rubber, Sweden, Young Adult
in
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
volume
35
issue
3
pages
9 pages
publisher
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
external identifiers
  • scopus:67650254728
ISSN
0355-3140
DOI
10.5271/sjweh.1323
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4797d757-170d-478f-a9cb-5f8c528534bd
date added to LUP
2016-06-15 13:38:56
date last changed
2017-07-23 05:15:13
@article{4797d757-170d-478f-a9cb-5f8c528534bd,
  abstract     = {<p>OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was twofold: (i) to evaluate the air levels of N-nitrosamines in the Swedish rubber industry and (ii) to estimate the risk of symptoms and changed levels of immunologic markers in relation to these levels.</p><p>METHODS: Using adsorption tubes, we collected samples of N-nitrosamines in the breathing zone of 96 rubber workers and analyzed them with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Of these 96 workers, 66 were included in a medical examination and blood analysis together with an additional 106 rubber workers and 118 unexposed subjects. Medical and occupational histories were obtained in structured interviews, symptoms were recorded and immunologic markers analyzed in blood.</p><p>RESULTS: The sum of N-nitrosamines ranged from less than the limit of detection to 36 microg/m (3)and differed with the vulcanization (ie, curing process) method used. Workers vulcanizing with a salt bath had the highest levels (median 4.2 microg/m (3)). Compared to the unexposed subjects, the rubber workers had an increased risk of nosebleeds, eye and throat symptoms, hoarseness, cough, nausea, headache, and changed levels of eosinophils and total immunoglobulin G (IgG). However, we found no clear exposure-response relationship with the symptoms or the immunologic markers studied.</p><p>CONCLUSIONS: High levels of N-nitrosamines were found and must be lowered considerably in order to decrease the risk of cancer. There is a need for an occupational exposure limit for N-nitrosamines in Sweden. The lack of exposure-response relationships with the subacute symptoms examined in this study may be due to a healthy-worker selection or to the possibility that the symptoms are caused by an exposure not co-varying with N-nitrosamines.</p>},
  author       = {Jönsson, Lena S and Lindh, Christian and Bergendorf, Ulf and Axmon, Anna and Littorin, Margareta and Jönsson, Bo A},
  issn         = {0355-3140},
  keyword      = {Adult,Aged,Air Pollutants, Occupational,Biomarkers,Case-Control Studies,Dose-Response Relationship, Drug,Eosinophils,Extraction and Processing Industry,Female,Humans,Immunoglobulin G,Immunoglobulin M,Inhalation Exposure,Male,Middle Aged,Nitrosamines,Occupational Diseases,Respiratory Tract Diseases,Risk Assessment,Rubber,Sweden,Young Adult},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {11--203},
  publisher    = {Finnish Institute of Occupational Health},
  series       = {Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health},
  title        = {N-nitrosamines in the southern Swedish rubber industries - exposure, health effects, and immunologic markers},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.1323},
  volume       = {35},
  year         = {2009},
}