Fine Particulate Matter and Lung Function among Burning-Exposed Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Workers.

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From: Environmental Health Perspectives(Vol. 130, Issue 2)
Publisher: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Document Type: Report
Length: 11,542 words
Lexile Measure: 1560L

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Abstract :

Background: During the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster, controlled burning was conducted to remove oil from the water. Workers near combustion sites were potentially exposed to increased fine particulate matter [with aerodynamic diameter [less than or equal to] 2.5 [micro]m (P[M.sub.2.5])] levels. Exposure to P[M.sub.2.5] has been linked to decreased lung function, but to our knowledge, no study has examined exposure encountered in an oil spill cleanup. Objective: We investigated the association between estimated P[M.sub.2.5] only from burning/flaring of oil/gas and lung function measured 1-3 y after the DWH disaster. Methods: We included workers who participated in response and cleanup activities on the water during the DWH disaster and had lung function measured at a subsequent home visit (n = 2,316). P[M.sub.2.5] concentrations were estimated using a Gaussian plume dispersion model and linked to work histories via a job-exposure matrix. We evaluated forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1; milliliters), forced vital capacity (FVC; milliliters), and their ratio (FEV1/FVC; %) in relation to average and cumulative daily maximum exposures using multivariable linear regressions. Results: We observed significant exposure-response trends associating higher cumulative daily maximum P[M.sub.2.5] exposure with lower FEV1 (p-trend = 0.04) and FEV1/FVC (p-trend = 0.01). In comparison with the referent group (workers not involved in or near the burning), those with higher cumulative exposures had lower FEV1 [-166.8 mL, 95% confidence interval (CI): -337.3, 3.7] and FEV1/FVC (-1.7, 95% CI: -3.6, 0.2). We also saw nonsignificant reductions in FVC (high vs. referent: -120.9, 95% CI: -319.4, 77.6; p-trend = 0.36). Similar associations were seen for average daily maximum P[M.sub.2.5] exposure. Inverse associations were also observed in analyses stratified by smoking and time from exposure to spirometry and when we restricted to workers without prespill lung disease. Conclusions: Among oil spill workers, exposure to P[M.sub.2.5] specifically from controlled burning of oil/gas was associated with significantly lower FEV1 and FEV1/FVC when compared with workers not involved in burning.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A692680508