Projects

The respiratory and cutaneous effects of hard and soft wood exposure

Our goal was to assess the relationships between wood dust exposure and respiratory and skin problems in softwood sawmill workers. 53 workers’ exposures and effects were measured over a work-week. The controls were male workers in other industries, not exposed to significant respiratory hazards.

Re-analysis of workplace datasets to examine co-occurrence of lung and skin symptoms

Four workplace based studies conducted previously were combined and reanalyzed to determine the occurrence of skin and lung symptoms in several populations of workers and determine how common it is to have co-existing lung and skin symptoms. The studies were of embalmer, soda ash workers (ammonia), softwood workers and cabinet makers.

Key exposures and industries causing work-related contact dermatitis

We used the North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) database, which now includes occupational factors, to identify common occupational contact allergens. We then linked this information to the respiratory literature to identify whether these agents caused occupational asthma (OA). We also assessed the utility of the NACDG database itself, as a tool for research and surveillance. We analyzed patch test data for 3676 patients seen at the two Canadian NACDG Centres between 2001 and 2006.

Workplace sensitizers - exploration of skin and lung routes of exposure, responses and prevention practices: preliminary studies

We held a 2-day workshop which brought together 58 researchers with experience in the host and environmental components of WRCD and OAA. In particular, we targeted those who have considered the two organ systems together (either from a mechanistic or response perspective). The goal was to co-develop a set of questions that need to be addressed in future work, and develop new collaborations to pursue these questions.

Physician-diagnosed asthma, respiratory and cutaneous symptoms, immunologic sensitization and exposures among cleaners

The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of lung and skin symptoms and determine associations between exposures and symptoms. Questionnaires were completed by indoor cleaners and other building workers and results compared between the two groups.