Peak Expiratory Flow Changes among Welders
AbstractMore than one percent of the labor force in each country consists of welders exposed to various damages caused by welding. The number of studies conducted in this field is low, especially in Iran. In this paper, we tried to discover any temporary and reversible obstructive effect of welding fumes on the respiratory systems of welders. In this cross-sectional study, peak expiratory flow rates and respiratory symptoms of 37 welders during work shift were evaluated. Peak expiratory flow rates of welders were recorded in three working days and one non-working day. Peak expiratory flow rates in working days were compared with non-working Peak expiratory flow rates as a control measure. PEF values were higher in every recorded time in non-working days than that of working days. Besides, PEF of the middle shift decreased an hour after end of the shift had increased. Changes in PEF since the start of shift until an hour after the shift had the same pattern in all four days, but in conflict with daily physiological patterns. Fewer people complained respiratory symptoms such as cough and sputum in non-working days. Therefore, exposure to the welding fumes can result in reversible and temporary effect on PEF and this could lead to bronchial irritation and cause respiratory symptoms. Therefore, it is recommended that welders use sufficient respiratory protection and weld in places with air ventilator specialty when welding with CO2 in order to reduce irritant effects of welding fumes on respiratory systems.
Zenz C, Dickerson B, Horvath E. Occupational Medicine. 3rd ed, Mosby-Year Book, Inc., New York, USA, 1994.
Hannu T, Piipari R, Tuppurainen M, Nordman H, Tuomi T. Occupational asthma caused by stainless steel welding fumes: a clinical study. Eur Respir J 2007; 29(1): 85–90.
Ladou J, Harrison R. Current diagnosis & treatment occupational & environmental medicine. 5th ed, McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. New York, USA, 2014.
Sobaszek A, Boulenguez C, Frimat P, Robin H, Haguenoer JM, Edme JL. Acute respiratory effects of exposure to stainless steel and mild steel welding fumes. J Occup Environ Med 2000; 42(9): 923-931.
Lillienberg L, Zock J P, Kromhout H, Plana E, Jarvis D, Torén K, Kogevinas M. A population -based study on welding exposures at work and respiratory symptoms. Ann Occup Hyg 2008; 52(2): 107-115.
Aminian O, Beheshti S, Atarchi M S. Changes of spirometric indices among welders in a car factory in Tehran during a period of five years (1996-2001). Armaghan Danesh 2003; 7(28): 9-16.
Meo S A, Azeem M A, Subhan M M. Lung function in Pakistani welding workers. J Occup Environ Med 2003; 45(10): 1068-1073.
Toren K, Jarvholm B, Brisman J, Hagberg S, Hermansson B A, Lillienberg L. Adult-onset asthma and occupational exposures. Scand J Work Environ Health 1999; 25(5): 430–435.
Corhay J L, Bury T, Louis L, Delavignette J P, Kayembe J M, Weber G, Albert A, Radermecker M F. Bronchial responsiveness in active steel workers. Eur Respir J 1998; 11(2): 272–277.
Aggarwal A N, Gupta D, Chaganti S, Jindal S K. Diurnal variation in peak expiratory flow in healthy young adults. Indian J chest Dis Allied Sci 2000; 42(1): 15-19.
Redlich C A, Stove M H, Coren B A, Wisnewski A V, Holm C T, Cullen M R. Diisocyanate-exposed auto body shop worker: A one year follow up. Am J Ind Med 2002; 42(6): 511-518.
Brand P, Gube M, Gerards K, Bertram J, Kaminski H, John AC, Kuhlbusch T, Wiemann M, Eisenbeis C, Winkler R, Kraus T. Internal exposure, effect monitoring, and lung function in welders after acute short-term exposure to welding fumes from different welding processes. J Occup Environ Med 2010; 52(9): 887-892.
Sharifian S A, Loukzadeh Z, Shojaoddiny-Ardekani A, Aminian O. Pulmonary adverse effects of welding fume in automobile assembly welders. Acta Medica Iranica 2011; 49(2): 98-102.
Donoghue A M, Glass W I, Herbison G P. Transient changes in the pulmonary function of welders: a cross sectional study of Monday peak expiratory flow. Occup Environ Med 1994; 51(8): 553-556.
Thaman R G, Girgla K K, Arora G P. Circadian peak expiratory flow rate variability in healthy north Indian geriatric population. J Indian Acad Clin Med 2010; 11(3): 195-208.
Luo J C, Hsu K H, Shen W S. Pulmonary function abnormalities and airway irritation symptoms of metal fumes exposure on automobile spot welders. AM J Ind Med 2006; 49(6): 407-416.
Boezen H M, Schouten J P, Postma D S, Rijcken B. Distribution of peak expiratory flow variability by age, gender, and smoking habits in a random population sample aged 20-70 years. Eur Respir J 1994; 7(10): 1814–1820
Erhabor G E, Fatusi S, Obembe O B. Pulmonary functions in ARC-welders in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. East Afr Med J 2001; 78(9): 461- 464.
Beckett W S, Pace P E, Sferlazza S J, Perlman G D, Chen A H, Xu X P. Airway reactivity in welders: a controlled prospective cohort study. J Occup Environ Med 1996; 38(12): 1229-1238.
Bradshaw L M, Fishwick D, Slater T, Pearce N. Chronic bronchitis, work related respiratory symptoms, and pulmonary function in welders in New Zealand. Occup Environ Med 1998; 55(3): 150-154.