Pulmonary Inflammation in Foundry Workers
Objective: To assess whether cumulative dust exposure in foundry work is associated with airway inflammation measured by the analysis of fractionated exhaled nitric oxide (NO) concentration, or by inflammatory markers in exhaled breath condensate or serum.
Methods: We examined 476 dust-exposed and nonexposed foundry workers, and assessed the individual cumulative exposure to dusts and respirable quartz. Bronchial and alveolar NO production and inflammatory markers in exhaled breath condensate and in serum samples were also analyzed.
Results: After adjusting for pack-years of smoking, increased levels of alveolar NO, serum C-reactive protein, and interleukin-8 were associated with a higher level of cumulative exposure to dust. The referents had higher serum myeloperoxidase levels, bronchial NO output, and 8-isoprostane levels in exhaled breath condensate than in the dust-exposed groups.
Conclusions: Dust exposure in foundry work may induce both systemic and alveolar inflammation.