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EC number: 931-597-4
CAS number: -
Previous studies of respiratory disorders in workers exposed to
pulverised fuel ash (PFA) have been confined to radiological effects,
that were found to be minimal. The present survey included 268 men (88%
of the defined population) with a history of more than 10 years of
exposure to PFA in six power stations in the south east of England.
Respiratory questionnaires with full occupational histories were
obtained from all of these subjects, of whom 207 were actively employed
and 61 had retired; 243 had lung function tests and 208 had chest x ray
examinations. The men were grouped, using their occupational histories,
into high, medium, and low exposure categories. Dust concentrations were
obtained by personal sampling on a representative sample of men from the
three exposure categories. Lung function tests showed that a modest
effect on forced vital capacity, vital capacity, forced expiratory
volume in one second, peak flow, and gas transfer (DCO) was associated
with prolonged heavy exposure to PFA. The men with prolonged heavy
exposure also showed higher prevalences of respiratory symptoms. No
definite relation between exposure and x ray changes was established.
The results of this cross sectional survey indicate that exposures to
PFA should not exceed the limits recommended by the Health and Safety
Executive for low toxicity dusts [long-term exposure limit 8-h TWA for
pulverised fuel ash: 10 mg/m3 (inhalable dust), 4 mg/m3 (respirable
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