[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Interleukins, interferons and oxidative DNA products are important biomarkers assessing the inflammations and tissue damages caused by toxic materials in the body. We tried to evaluate distributions, reference values and age related changes of blood levels of inflammatory cytokines, C-reactive protein (CRP), IgE and urine levels of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) among workers in a cohort study evaluating the health influences of toner particles. Methods: A total of 1366 male workers under age 50 years (age 19-49 years; 718 exposed and 648 not exposed to toner particles) in a cross sectional study of 1614 (categorized as 809 exposed and 805 not exposed, age 19-59 years) workers in a photocopier company has been followed prospectively as the cohort. Blood levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-8, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), CRP, IgE and urine 8-OHdG were measured annually for 5 years. Results: Reference values of the biomarkers are; CRP: 0.01-0.63×10-2g/L, IgE: 6-1480 IU/mL, IL-4: 2.6-76.1 pg/mL, IL-6: 0.4-4.9 pg/mL and 8-OHdG: 1.5-8.2 ng/mgCr. We could not evaluate reference values for IL-8 and IFN-γ because most of the values were below the sensitivity limits (2.0 pg/mL and 0.1 IU/mL, respectively). There were no differences of the biomarker levels between the toner exposed and the control workers. We observed a statistically significant age related decrease of serum IL-4 levels. Conclusions: This is the first report assessing the distributions and reference values of inflammatory biomarker levels in a large scaled cohort. We observed age related changes of some of the biomarkers. We could not detect any differences of the studied biomarker values between the toner exposed and the control workers.
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 08/2012; 51(2). DOI:10.1515/cclm-2012-0330 · 2.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study is to examine the relationship between toner-exposed work and health indices related to respiratory disorders and to confirm the baseline of a cohort study to clarify the effect of toner exposure in manufacturing plants. Subjects were 1614 male workers (809 toner-exposed workers and 805 referents) who were engaged in toner manufacturing plants in Japan (Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd). The age of subjects was from 19 to 59 years, and the average age was 40.2 years(median 40 years, SD 7.67). We conducted a pulmonary function test (PEFR, VC, FVC, FEV(1.0)%, V25/Ht) and a blood cell test (RBC, Hb, Hct, Plt, WBC, cell contents of WBC) and measured biochemical indices in blood (ALT, AST, gamma-GTP, CRP, IgE) and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in urine. Student t-test and logistic regression analysis were applied to compare between the toner-exposed workers and the referents and to analyze the relationship among indices of effects and independent factors. There was no significant difference between the two groups in blood cell count and biochemical indices. Inflammation- and allergy-related markers such as 8OHdG and IgE also showed no significant difference between toner-exposed workers and the referents. The influence of smoking on pulmonary function indices was observed, but there was no relationship between the pulmonary function and toner-exposed work. In this article, we report a preliminary cross-sectional analysis in the subjects of a cohort study. No difference in pulmonary function indices was observed between the toner-exposed workers and the referents, and there was no consistent relationship between the exposure status and examined indices; however, the prevalence of subjective respiratory symptoms was higher in the exposed workers as presented in another report. Further analysis is important in the ongoing cohort study to clarify the effect of toner exposure on respiratory systems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this baseline study, part of a cohort study to clarify the effect of toner exposure on the respiratory system, we surveyed 803 male toner workers and 802 referents with regard to their subjective respiratory symptoms and chest X-ray results. We also examined individual exposure history, current working conditions, and personal exposure levels to toner. There was a significantly higher prevalence of "coughing and sputum" related complaints among toner-exposed workers in the 30 and 40-year age groups. The group with toner-exposure history showed a higher odds ratio, by logistic regression, in relation to all questions regarding coughing. Mild fibrotic changes were observed in the chest X-rays of four workers who had engaged in toner-exposure work for at least a decade or more, and all four had reported allergic disease. Although we observed a tendency of higher prevalence of "coughing and sputum" in toner-exposed workers, the possibility of information bias cannot be eliminated. It should also be noted that this tendency did not exceed that of the general public. Further analysis is required in this ongoing 10-year cohort study to clarify the effect of toner exposure on the respiratory system.