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Inflammatory and coagulatory markers and exposure to different size fractions of particle mass, number and surface area air concentrations in Swedish iron foundries, in particular respirable quartz

Journal article
Authors H. Westberg
A. Hedbrant
A. Persson
I. L. Bryngelsson
A. Johansson
A. Ericsson
B. Sjögren
Leo Stockfelt
E. Särndahl
L. Andersson
Published in International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume 92
Issue 8
Pages 1087–1098
ISSN 0340-0131
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 1087–1098
Language en
Keywords Inflammatory markers, Iron foundries, Particle mass, Particle number, Particle surface area, Respirable quartz
Subject categories Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, Environmental Health and Occupational Health


Purpose: To study the relationship between inhalation of airborne particles and quartz in Swedish iron foundries and markers of inflammation and coagulation in blood. Methods: Personal sampling of respirable dust and quartz was performed for 85 subjects in three Swedish iron foundries. Stationary measurements were used to study the concentrations of respirable dust and quartz, inhalable and total dust, PM10 and PM2.5, as well as the particle surface area and the particle number concentrations. Markers of inflammation, namely interleukins (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and IL-12), C-reactive protein, and serum amyloid A (SAA) were measured in plasma or serum, together with markers of coagulation including fibrinogen, factor VIII (FVIII), von Willebrand factor and d-dimer. Complete sampling was performed on the second or third day of a working week after a work-free weekend, and follow-up samples were collected 2 days later. A mixed model analysis was performed including sex, age, smoking, infections, blood group, sampling day and BMI as covariates. Results: The average 8-h time-weighted average air concentrations of respirable dust and quartz were 0.85 mg/m3 and 0.052 mg/m3, respectively. Participants in high-exposure groups with respect to some of the measured particle types exhibited significantly elevated levels of SAA, fibrinogen and FVIII. Conclusions: These observed relationships between particle exposure and inflammatory markers may indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease among foundry workers with high particulate exposure. © 2019, The Author(s).

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