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Construction Workers at Risk for Lung Disease Says New Study

Construction Workers at Risk for Lung Disease Says New Study

June 14, 2023
Research showed that 28.6% of 18,145 participating construction workers developed RSP, which causes an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and lung cancer.

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

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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