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Radon, Katja; Wegner, R.; Szadkowski, D. (2000): Lung function decline in 4-monthly repeated spirometric measurements: Due to silt aerosol exposure or decreasing effort? In: Respiration, No. 1: pp. 41-45


Background: Workers on dredgers and lighters on rivers are exposed to the inhalation of aerosols and dusts. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate effects of river silt aerosol and dust exposure on the respiratory health of dredging employees. Methods: Six era mi nations were performed over a period of 2 years at 4-monthly intervals in 54 seamen with higher silt aerosol exposure and 36 controls of the same employer. Results: No significant differences could be observed between the groups at any time of the study but there was an unexpected significant decrease in the age-corrected expiratory vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and midexpiratory flow rate (MMEF25/75) over the six series in both groups. This may indicate a loss of effort of the participants in re-examinations since biological and technical influences were highly unlikely to be the cause of these findings. Conclusions: Ignoring this possible decline of effort in frequently repeated measurements may result in overestimating potential effects of occupational exposure. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.