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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1997;30(4): 752-763.
Respiratory symptoms of workers exposed to the fume containing manganese.
Sun Hee Yu, Doo Hie Kim, Hyun Sul Lim, Ji Yong Kim, Byung Soon Choi
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, dongguk University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
To evaluate the effect of manganese on the respiratory system, we investigated the respiratory symptoms of 63 male workers exposed to fume containing manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), and silica (Si), and compared them with those of 66 male workers not exposed to the fume in a manganese alloy smelting factory. The prevalence ratios of the seven respiratory symptoms were not different between two groups. The presence of any respiratory symptom was not related with the age, duration of employment, smoking status of workers, and exposure to fume. In furnace workers, it was not related with the airborne Mn, Fe, and Si concentration in the total or respirable fume. Airborne Mn concentrations of all 4 furnaces in the respirable fume were below 1 mg/m(3). There were two suspicious cases of pneumoconiosis among furnace workers and one definite case(1/2) among casting workers who were not exposed to fume. The above results suggest that the exposure to the low airborne Mn concentration is not related with respiratory symptoms and pneumoconiosis. However, it is necessary to study the respiratory effects of Mn using the symptom questionnaire with consideration of the severity and persistence of symptoms and the time interval from exposure.
Key words: Respiratory symptoms; Fume; Manganese; Iron; Silica
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