Ann Agric Environ Med 2003, 10, 21-29


Lisa A. Ronald2, Hugh W. Davies1, Karen H. Bartlett1, Susan M. Kennedy1,2, Kay Teschke1,2,
Jacques Spithoven3, Martine Dennekamp1, Paul A. Demers1,2

1School of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
3Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

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Ronald LA, Davies HW, Bartlett KH, Kennedy SM, Teschke K, Spithoven J, Dennekamp M, Demers PA: B(1-->3)-glucan exposure levels among workers in four British Columbia sawmills. Ann Agric Environ Med 2003, 10, 21-29.

Abstract: B(1-->3)-glucans were extracted from wood dust samples taken during the summer of 1997 at four British Columbia sawmills. Personal dust samples were collected using a GSP-sampler for inhalable dust and the sampling strategy targeted all production and maintenance jobs at least once at each mill. Potential exposure determinants data were documented concurrently, including weather conditions, log storage methods, wood conditions, species, production level, jobs and tasks. B(1-->3)-glucans were measured by enzyme inhibition immunoassay (EIA). A total of 223 personal B(1-->3)-glucan samples were analyzed. 45.7% were below the limit of detection (LOD). Geometric mean concentration ranged from 3.5 to 18.9 g/m3 across the four mills. The highest levels were measured at the Interior mills, particularly in the log processing and sawmill areas. Multivariate regression models indicated that land-based log storage, clean-up jobs, high wood dust concentration, lumber yard department and the interaction between land-based log storage method and log processing department were associated with increased B(1-->3)-glucan concentration.

Address for correspondence: Dr. Paul A. Demers, PhD, School of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, University of British Columbia, 2206 East Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada. E-mail: pdemers@interchange.ubc.ca

Key words: glucan, bioaerosols, wood dust, occupational exposure, inhibition enzyme immunoassay.

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