RESEARCH PAPER
Work related acute and (sub-)chronic airways inflammation assessed by nasal lavage in compost workers
 
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1
Department of Environmental Sciences, Agricultural University Wageningen, Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 1997;4(1):149–151
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ABSTRACT
In the autumn of 1995, repeated pre- and post-work-shift nasal lavages (NAL) were performed in 14 compost workers (3 weeks on Mondays and Fridays) and 10 controls (one Monday) to asses the relation between bioaerosol exposure and airways inflammation. Total cell counts, leukocytes and inflammatory mediators (MPO, ECP, IL8, NO, albumin, urea and uric acid) were determined in NAL. Mean personal dust and endotoxin exposures ranged from 0.4-3.1 mg/m3 and 50-1000 EU/m3, respectively. A cross-shift increase in total cells and mediator levels (except ECP, albumin and uric acid) was observed in the NAL of workers while in controls there was a cross-shift decrease, presumably due to a wash out effect. Total cells, MPO, IL8, NO and albumin in NAL of workers measured on Mondays after two exposure free days were substantially elevated compared to controls and were more elevated at 'high' than at 'low' endotoxin exposures. These results indicate that occupational exposure in compost workers causes acute and (sub-)chronic non-immune or type III allergic inflammation in the upper airways.
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ISSN:1232-1966