A lung disease that involves a restrictive spirometry pattern (RSP) due to exposure to hazardous materials is putting construction workers at risk. A study published by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found that this condition is putting workers at a significantly increased risk of developing occupational lung disease.
The restriction comes about when the lungs become stiff after inhaling dust over time, which causes scarring that reduces the person’s ability to breathe in, as reported in an article on Duke University’s School of Medicine’s website.
The researchers discovered that 28.6% of 18,145 participating construction workers developed RSP. Results showed those with RSP were at an increased risk of all-cause death, and death from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and lung cancer.
Workers were classified into 16 different construction trade groups. Asbestos workers had the highest prevalence of RSP at 35.3%, followed by teamsters, which are truck drivers, at 32.9%, and boilermakers ranked third with a prevalence of 31.2%. Plumbers, steamfitters, and pipefitters ranked fifth at 29.0%, and electricians ranked seventh at 28.4%.
“This is not just a disease of the lung that causes adverse effects,” said John Dement, PhD, professor emeritus in Duke’s Occupational & Environmental Medicine Division in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, in a statement. “People are actually at increased risk of mortality because of this lung disease.
Read the full article here.