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Occupational exposurer aises respiratory symptoms

According to a Norwegian study of 1656 subjects over an eleven year period reveals how exposure to dust and fumes in the workplace is linked to a significant increase in respiratory symptoms.// Initially, 2500 subjects from the city of Bergen and its surroundings were enrolled in 1985 and asked about lung symptoms, workplace dust and fume exposure, smoking habits and asthma.

Then, after 5 years 1656 of the original participants were revisited. The survey showed that even after adjusting for sex, age, educational levels and smoking habits, there is a clear link between occupational exposures and respiratory symptoms and asthma. In particular, exposure to quartz causes cough symptoms and asbestos exposure is linked with high risk of severe breathlessness and asthma. Slightly over 30 per cent of the participants were exposed to dust and fumes in the workplace; between six and 19 per cent of all respiratory symptoms and 14.4 per cent of asthma cases were linked with such workplace exposure.


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