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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1989;22(3): 328-336.
Chest Radiological Changes after Cessation and Decrease of Exposure to Welding Fume in Shipyard Welders.
H S Sohn, J T Lee, H R Shin, C U Lee, K T Pae, H J Park, Y W Kim
Department of Preventive Medicine, Catholic Medical College, Korea.
ABSTRACT
27 shipyard welders were diagnosed as pneumoconiosis and suspected pneumoconiosis(1976 - 1988) by chest radiographs and were observed over three years. 27 welders were divided into three groups by the state of exposure to welding fume i.e. cessation, decrease or continuity of exposure. And we observed the changing pattern of the chest radiographs of 27 welders with the passage of time. The results were as follows; 1. Group I (ceased exposure to welding fume) were 10 cases: suspected pneumoconiosis, 7 cases: pneumoconiosis). Chest radiographs of all cases were improved. The shape and size of small opacities was improved in 6 cases(85.7%) and did not changed in 1 case(14.3%) out of 7 pneumoconiosis welders. 2. Group II (decreased exposure to welding fume) were 5 cases(2 cases: suspected pneumoconiosis, 3 cases: pneumoconiosis). Chest radiographs were progressed in 2 cases(40%), did not changed in 1 case(20%), were improved in 2 cases(40%) out of 5 cases. The shaped and size of small opacities was progressed in 1 case(33.3%) and was improved in 2 cases(66.7%) out of 3 pneumoconiosis welders. 3. Group III (continued exposure to welding fume) were 12 cases(1 case: suspected pneumoconiosis, 11 cases: pneumoconiosis). Chest radiographs were progressed in 9 cases(75%), did not changed in 3 cases(25%) out of 12 cases. The shape and size opacities was progressed in 1 case(9.1%) and did not changed in 10 cases(90.9%) out of 11 pneumoconiosis welders. 4. The average duration for development into suspected pneumoconiosis was 6.6 years and for progression of each one category after that was 2.2 years(p<0.01). The radiological appearance of pneumoconiosis had disappeared or decreased after cessation of exposure to the welding fume. So that, early detection and control e.g., change of department of pneumoconiosis of welders by screening program will be important for medical surveillance of welders.
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