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2.  Outcome of pregnancy in relation to irregular and inconvenient work schedules. 
The relation between irregular and inconvenient working hours and the outcome of pregnancy was studied among women employed at a hospital in Sweden some time between 1980 and 1984. A questionnaire was distributed to 807 women; 81% replied. The pregnancies were divided into six groups with respect to work schedules during pregnancy. A slightly, but not significantly, increased risk of miscarriage was found in women who worked irregular hours or rotating shifts compared with women who worked only during the day (RR = 1.44, 95% confidence interval 0.83-2.51). Infants of non-smoking mothers who worked irregular hours had significantly lower birth weights than infants of non-smoking women working day time only. This difference was largest at birth order 2+. Similar results were found for infants of this birth order whose non-smoking mothers worked evenings or rotating shift.
PMCID: PMC1009792  PMID: 2818973
3.  Environmental and health studies of farm workers in Swedish swine confinement buildings. 
The relation between the health of workers and the environment in swine confinement buildings was investigated in a study of 57 workers on 30 swine farms in southern Sweden and 55 matched controls. Swine workers reported significantly higher frequencies of respiratory symptoms, more frequent colds and absence due to chest illness, and a history of pneumonia. The increased frequency of symptoms of respiratory disease was related to the number of years and percent of the day spent working with swine. Symptoms were also associated with respirable dust, total dust, endotoxin in total dust, and number of microbes in the air of the work environment. In a multiple regression analysis of the relation between 16 different environmental parameters to work period shifts of five pulmonary function parameters, endotoxin was found to be significantly related to the FEV1 in a dose dependent way.
PMCID: PMC1009719  PMID: 2920141
5.  Byssinosis in carpet weavers exposed to wool contaminated with endotoxin. 
All the 303 full time day workers in a carpet weaving factory were submitted to a physical examination, chest radiography, and vitalograph test, and answered a respiratory questionnaire. Fifty four healthy non-exposed subjects served as controls. Dust concentrations and concentrations of bacterial endotoxin were measured. Of the 303 workers, 259 (85.5%) had airway symptoms and 62 (20.5%) had maximum mid-expiratory flow (MMF) values of less than 60% compared with 9.2% of the controls. The symptoms in 68 workers (22%) were compatible with byssinosis and 36 of these workers underwent vitalography before starting work and after four hours work on Mondays when significant reductions of their FEV1 and MMF were found. Twenty one of these 36 workers were tested on Tuesday and no differences in these measurements were found between measurements before work started and four hours later. The airborne dust concentrations in the factory were high and bacterial endotoxin was found. These findings suggest that a large number of workers in this carpet weaving factory suffer from a disease indistinguishable from byssinosis even though wool is used almost exclusively, the only cotton being the warp. The finding of endotoxin together with the absence of cotton confirms the theory that "byssinosis" is due to bacterial endotoxin rather than to cotton per se.
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PMCID: PMC1007864  PMID: 3620372
6.  Exposure to cotton dust in an experimental cardroom. 
Changes in respiratory function (FEV1) and polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) on nasal epithelium were studied in 68 students and 39 cotton mill workers in an experimental cardroom. The exposure was characterised by the vertical elutriator dust and endotoxin levels. A dose related decrease was found for FEV1 which was more pronounced in smoking workers. The thresholds for no FEV1 reaction were 0.58 mg/m3 dust and 0.17 micrograms/m3 endotoxin for students and 0.43 mg/m3 and 0.08 micrograms/m3 for smoking workers. The PMN increased in most of the experiments but no dose response relationship could be shown. In experiments with smoking workers or when washed cotton was carded a better correlation was obtained between FEV1 decrease and endotoxin levels than for dust levels.
PMCID: PMC1069355  PMID: 6743581
7.  Exposure to solvents and outcome of pregnancy in university laboratory employees. 
The outcome of pregnancy was studied among personnel employed in laboratory work at the University of Gothenburg between 1968 and 1979. A questionnaire was distributed to 782 women; the response rate was 95%. When the 1160 pregnancies were divided into those with and without exposure to organic solvents during laboratory work, a slightly increased, but not significant, difference in the miscarriage rate was found (relative risk (RR) 1.31, 95% confidence interval 0.89-1.91). No differences in perinatal death rates or the prevalence of malformations were found between infants whose mothers were exposed to solvents and those who were not. Shift work during pregnancy was related to a higher miscarriage rate (RR 3.2, 95% confidence interval 1.36-7.47). No relation between cigarette smoking and miscarriage rate was found, although birth weights were lower when the mother smoked during pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC1009312  PMID: 6743577
8.  Work related symptoms among sewage workers. 
Employees at six sewage treatment plants and three drinking water plants were interviewed for the presence of specific medical symptoms. Serum immunoglobulin concentrations, white blood cell counts and fibrinogen degradation product concentrations (FDP) in urine were determined as were the number and species of airborne Gram negative rods in order to characterise exposure to aerosols of sewage water. The highest number of bacteria was found in areas where the sewage water was agitated. A significantly higher proportion of employees at sewage treatment plants reported skin disorders, diarrhoea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms than the control group. No significant differences were found between the groups for white blood cell count or serum immunoglobulin concentrations, except that IgM concentrations were slightly higher in the sewage workers. Some workers had serum transaminase concentrations in excess of normal; some of these returned to normal after the summer holiday. Among non-smokers a higher proportion of sewage treatment workers had increased amounts of FDP in urine. It is conceivable that the symptoms observed were caused by toxins from Gram negative bacteria.
PMCID: PMC1069330  PMID: 6871122
9.  Prevalence of byssinosis in Swedish cotton mills. 
The prevalence of byssinosis and of chronic bronchitis was studied in a questionnaire investigation among workers in bale opening areas, carding rooms, and spinning rooms in five Swedish cotton mills. Airborne dust and Gram-negative bacteria was measured. Nineteen per cent of the interviewed workers reported symptoms of light byssinosis (grade 1/2). The prevalence of symptoms was not related to the duration of employment, and cases of byssinosis were found among people who had worked in cotton mills for only a few years. A significantly higher proportion of male than female workers reported symptoms. No difference in the extent of byssinosis was found between smokers and non-smokers, but the prevalence was significantly higher among those workers who had ceased smoking. The prevalence of byssinosis was related to the number of airborne viable Gram-negative bacteria as well as to the dust level in the different mills.
PMCID: PMC1008836  PMID: 7236538
10.  Mortality and incidence of tumours among ferrochromium workers 
ABSTRACT An investigation was carried out to determine the cause of death and the incidence of tumours among 1932 workers in a ferrochromium plant in Sweden. The workers had been exposed mainly to metallic and trivalent chromium (Cr3+); hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) was also present in certain working operations. The population was defined as all men employed at the plant for at least one year during 1930-75, and were classified according to their occupation within the industry. The causes of death were initially obtained from parish registers. For deaths occuring between 1951 and 1975, death certificates were collected from the National Central Bureau of Statistics. Data on the incidence of cancer during 1958-75 were obtained from the Swedish National Cancer Registry. Expected death rates and incidence of tumours were calculated, based on the rates for the county in which the factory was situated. The total number of deaths from tumours was less than expected (69 versus 76·7). Five cases of respiratory cancer were found, against an expected 7·2. Among maintenance workers, an increased death rate from all tumours and an increased number of respiratory tumours were found. Two of the latter were mesotheliomas and could be connected with asbestos exposure. No increase was found for respiratory tumours among the heavily exposed workers at the arc-furnaces; one case of mesothelioma was found in this group.
PMCID: PMC1008678  PMID: 7426462
11.  Bacterial contamination of cotton as an indicator of respiratory effects among card room workers. 
The influence of the bacterial contamination of cotton dust on the development of pulmonary symptoms has been investigated. The pulmonary function of card room workers in 23 US cotton mills was tested before and after the Monday working shift. A significant relation was found between the delta FEV1.0 decrement and the vertical elutriator dust level in the different mills. An improved correlation was obtained when the number of Gram-negative bacteria cultured from the bale cotton used in the different mills was employed in the exposure description. The results support earlier epidemiological and experimental studies, which demonstrate the importance of the Gram-negative bacteria in the development of pulmonary symptoms among workers in cotton mills.
PMCID: PMC1008607  PMID: 389278
12.  Bacterial contamination of cotton and cotton dust and effects on the lung. 
Bacterial contamination of various parts of the cotton plant and of cotton from different mills was investigated. The predominant bacterial species were Gram-negative rods mainly of the Enterobacter genus. When guinea pigs inhaled strains of these bacteria cultivated from cotton, a strong leucocyte mobilising capacity was found for Pseudomonas and Enterobacter but not for Agrobacterium or Bacillus species. The aetiology of the development of pulmonary symptoms after inhalation of bacteria-containing dusts and subsequent production of endotoxins is discussed.
PMCID: PMC1008406  PMID: 698133
13.  Acute inhalation toxicity of cotton plant dusts. 
The number of free lung-cells was studied in guinea-pigs after acute exposure to extracts of various cotton dusts. A good correlation was found between the increase in number of leucocytes in the airways and the number of Gram-negative bacteria in the different dusts. Experiments using the Shwartzmann reaction and the Limulus titration test demonstrated a relationship between the content of different endotoxins in the dusts and the pulmonary reaction. A model for the acute exposure effects after exposure to cotton dust is proposed.
PMCID: PMC1008131  PMID: 963002

Results 1-13 (13)