|The respiratory and cutaneous effects of hard and soft wood exposure
|1988 – 1990 and 2009
|Victoria Arrandale, Linn Holness, Jim Nethercott, Andrea Sass-Kortsak, Lee O’Blenis
|CREOD Research Program
|Occupational Skin and Respiratory Disease
|Ontario Ministry of Labour
|Wood dust exposure has been shown to cause a variety of serious respiratory and cutaneous (skin) problems, such as nasal carcinoma, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and irritant and allergic contact dermatitis. Better understanding of the inter-relationships between inhalation and dermal routes of exposure and between respiratory and skin responses to workplace irritants would be helpful to inform the development of appropriate prevention strategies.
|Study Focus (Research Question/Goals/
|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.
|Implications for Health/Labour Policy and Practice
|Workers who are exposed to wood dust in the workplace would benefit from improved prevention strategies. Education and interventions aimed at changing workplace culture could address worker self-selection (leaving the mill or moving to an area of low exposure as a result of symptoms) and improve recognition, reporting, and outcomes for affected workers.
|Publication & Presentation Information