The inhalation of glass dusts mixed in resin, generally known as glass fiber–reinforced plastic (GRP), represents a little-studied occupational hazard. The few studies performed have highlighted nonspecific lung disorders in animals and in humans. In the present study we evaluated the alteration of the respiratory system and the pathogenic mechanisms causing the changes in a group of working men employed in different GRP processing operations and exposed to production dusts. The study was conducted on a sample of 29 male subjects whose mean age was 37 years and mean length of service 11 years. All of the subjects were submitted to a clinical check-up, basic tests, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL); microscopic studies and biochemical analysis were performed on the BAL fluid. Tests of respiratory function showed a large number of obstructive syndromes; scanning electron microscopy highlighted qualitative and quantitative alterations of the alveolar macrophages; and transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of electron-dense cytoplasmatic inclusions indicating intense and active phlogosis (external inflammation). Biochemical analyses highlighted an increase in protein content associated with alterations of the lung oxidant/antioxidant homeostasis. Inhalation of GRP, independent of environmental concentration, causes alterations of the cellular and humoral components of pulmonary interstitium; these alterations are identified microscopically as acute alveolitis.

Changes induced by exposure of the human lung to glass fiber-reinforced plastic

ABBATE, Carmelo;COSTA, Chiara;CAVALLARI, Vittorio;ALBIERO, Francesca M.;CATANIA, Stefania;
2006

Abstract

The inhalation of glass dusts mixed in resin, generally known as glass fiber–reinforced plastic (GRP), represents a little-studied occupational hazard. The few studies performed have highlighted nonspecific lung disorders in animals and in humans. In the present study we evaluated the alteration of the respiratory system and the pathogenic mechanisms causing the changes in a group of working men employed in different GRP processing operations and exposed to production dusts. The study was conducted on a sample of 29 male subjects whose mean age was 37 years and mean length of service 11 years. All of the subjects were submitted to a clinical check-up, basic tests, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL); microscopic studies and biochemical analysis were performed on the BAL fluid. Tests of respiratory function showed a large number of obstructive syndromes; scanning electron microscopy highlighted qualitative and quantitative alterations of the alveolar macrophages; and transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of electron-dense cytoplasmatic inclusions indicating intense and active phlogosis (external inflammation). Biochemical analyses highlighted an increase in protein content associated with alterations of the lung oxidant/antioxidant homeostasis. Inhalation of GRP, independent of environmental concentration, causes alterations of the cellular and humoral components of pulmonary interstitium; these alterations are identified microscopically as acute alveolitis.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/1889777
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