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Exhaled nitric oxide among pulpmill workers reporting gassing incidents involving ozone and chlorine dioxide.

Journal article
Authors Anna-Carin Olin
G Ljungkvist
Björn Bake
S Hagberg
L Henriksson
Kjell Torén
Published in The European respiratory journal : official journal of the European Society for Clinical Respiratory Physiology
Volume 14
Issue 4
Pages 828-31
ISSN 0903-1936
Publication year 1999
Published at Institute of Internal Medicine
Institute of Internal Medicine, Dept of Respiratory Medicine/Allergology
Pages 828-31
Language en
Keywords Adult, Air Pollutants, Occupational, adverse effects, Biological Markers, Bronchial Hyperreactivity, etiology, metabolism, Chlorine Compounds, adverse effects, Female, Humans, Industry, Lung, drug effects, metabolism, Male, Methacholine Chloride, diagnostic use, Middle Aged, Nitric Oxide, metabolism, Occupational Diseases, etiology, metabolism, Occupational Exposure, adverse effects, Oxides, adverse effects, Ozone, adverse effects, Paper, Respiration, Respiratory Function Tests
Subject categories Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


The aim of the study was to investigate whether measurement of nitric oxide in exhaled air could be used for assessing the effects of irritants on the respiratory system, in this case recurrent ozone gassing in an occupational setting. The study population comprised bleachery workers (n=56) from a Swedish pulpmill carrying out ozone-based pulp bleaching since 1992 and controls (n=39). Both groups were investigated by measuring NO in exhaled air, methacholine challenge test and answers to a questionnaire concerning history of respiratory symptoms and accidental exposure to ozone peaks. There was no significant difference in NO output between exposed subjects and controls (median 67.2 versus 55.0 nL x min(-1), p=0.64). However, among bleachery workers reporting ozone gassings, the median NO output was 90.0 nL x min(-1) compared to 58.8 nL x min(-1) among those not reporting such incidents (p=0.019). There was no relation between exhaled NO and the prevalence of respiratory symptoms or bronchial hyperresponsiveness. In a multiple regression model, only reported ozone gassings were associated (p=0.016) with NO output. The results indicate an association between previous response to ozone gassing and nitric oxide output. The increased nitric oxide output among the bleachery workers reporting peak ozone exposure may indicate that chronic airway inflammation is present. Further studies are needed to evaluate the extent to which nitric oxide can be used for biological monitoring of respiratory health effects, and to relate it to other markers of airway inflammation.

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