Advanced

Respiratory and ocular symptoms in workers exposed to potassium aluminium-tetrafluoride soldering flux

Larsson, Britt; Karlsson, Jan-Eric LU and Nielsen, Jörn LU (2007) In International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 80(7). p.627-633
Abstract
Objectives Exposure to aluminium compounds, such as fluorides in gaseous and particulate form, places people who work in potrooms at risk for respiratory symptoms. Workers in potrooms, however, also are exposed to a number of other air contaminants. In this study, we present the first report of a dose-response relationship after exposure to potassium aluminium tetrafluoride (KAlF4) and the influence of smoking and atopy. Materials All workers (308) from an industrial plant that used KA1F as soldering flux were invited to participate in the study. In all, 289 workers participated and 118 employees not exposed to chemicals in their professional work served as an unexposed group. Methods In the first step, all subjects answered a... (More)
Objectives Exposure to aluminium compounds, such as fluorides in gaseous and particulate form, places people who work in potrooms at risk for respiratory symptoms. Workers in potrooms, however, also are exposed to a number of other air contaminants. In this study, we present the first report of a dose-response relationship after exposure to potassium aluminium tetrafluoride (KAlF4) and the influence of smoking and atopy. Materials All workers (308) from an industrial plant that used KA1F as soldering flux were invited to participate in the study. In all, 289 workers participated and 118 employees not exposed to chemicals in their professional work served as an unexposed group. Methods In the first step, all subjects answered a questionnaire concerning respiratory symptoms and work history, and participated in a lung function examination. In a second step, all workers who reported work-related complaints from lower respiratory airways were invited to participate in medical examination, methacholine test, screening test of respiratory allergy, and skin prick test against KAlF4. Results The exposed subjects had more symptoms than the unexposed group; dry cough odds ratio (OR): 5.17 (confidence interval 1.79-15.0), stuffy nose: 2.3 (1.25-4.22), nose bleeding: 10.7 (3.26-35.3) and ocular symptoms 5.01 (1.92-13.1) except for chest tightening and wheezing, and shortness of breath. The symptoms appeared in a dose response-like manner although the ORs between high and low exposed were significant for only chest tightening and wheezing, 2.62 (1.30-5.26) and stuffy nose 2.1 (1.22-3.66). Smokers and atopics did not report more frequent work-related symptoms. Smokers were significantly less hyperreactive than non-smokers, indicating a healthy-worker effect. No one showed a positive skin prick test against KAlF4. Conclusions In spite of exposure levels of KAlF4 well below the new Swedish threshold limit, value frequent respiratory and ocular symptoms were reported. No evidence of IgE mediated allergy was found. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
respiratory symptoms, ocular, increased, KAlF4, exposure
in
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
volume
80
issue
7
pages
627 - 633
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000246203800007
  • scopus:34248182982
ISSN
1432-1246
DOI
10.1007/s00420-007-0175-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3c259a12-c6eb-46d6-9c2b-40b98da7aea5 (old id 662638)
date added to LUP
2007-12-14 13:01:43
date last changed
2017-11-05 04:30:31
@article{3c259a12-c6eb-46d6-9c2b-40b98da7aea5,
  abstract     = {Objectives Exposure to aluminium compounds, such as fluorides in gaseous and particulate form, places people who work in potrooms at risk for respiratory symptoms. Workers in potrooms, however, also are exposed to a number of other air contaminants. In this study, we present the first report of a dose-response relationship after exposure to potassium aluminium tetrafluoride (KAlF4) and the influence of smoking and atopy. Materials All workers (308) from an industrial plant that used KA1F as soldering flux were invited to participate in the study. In all, 289 workers participated and 118 employees not exposed to chemicals in their professional work served as an unexposed group. Methods In the first step, all subjects answered a questionnaire concerning respiratory symptoms and work history, and participated in a lung function examination. In a second step, all workers who reported work-related complaints from lower respiratory airways were invited to participate in medical examination, methacholine test, screening test of respiratory allergy, and skin prick test against KAlF4. Results The exposed subjects had more symptoms than the unexposed group; dry cough odds ratio (OR): 5.17 (confidence interval 1.79-15.0), stuffy nose: 2.3 (1.25-4.22), nose bleeding: 10.7 (3.26-35.3) and ocular symptoms 5.01 (1.92-13.1) except for chest tightening and wheezing, and shortness of breath. The symptoms appeared in a dose response-like manner although the ORs between high and low exposed were significant for only chest tightening and wheezing, 2.62 (1.30-5.26) and stuffy nose 2.1 (1.22-3.66). Smokers and atopics did not report more frequent work-related symptoms. Smokers were significantly less hyperreactive than non-smokers, indicating a healthy-worker effect. No one showed a positive skin prick test against KAlF4. Conclusions In spite of exposure levels of KAlF4 well below the new Swedish threshold limit, value frequent respiratory and ocular symptoms were reported. No evidence of IgE mediated allergy was found.},
  author       = {Larsson, Britt and Karlsson, Jan-Eric and Nielsen, Jörn},
  issn         = {1432-1246},
  keyword      = {respiratory symptoms,ocular,increased,KAlF4,exposure},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {627--633},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health},
  title        = {Respiratory and ocular symptoms in workers exposed to potassium aluminium-tetrafluoride soldering flux},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00420-007-0175-2},
  volume       = {80},
  year         = {2007},
}