Photo by Abhijith S Nair on Unsplash

Assessing the Fine Particles-Associated Health Risks for Workers in Workplace

Date: 06/01/15 - 12/31/15

Funder: Institute of Labor, Occupational Safety And Health, Ministry of Labor
PI: Nan-Hung Hsieh & Shun-Hui Chung
Project Link: Chinese


Air pollution has become the major issue for public health. In which, fine particulate matter (PM) is the risk factor that can cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Some environmental regulations have been established to protect people from health effects. However, it still need more reference criterion to understand the fine PM-induced health effects for each occupational population and to further conduct the health protection strategies. The study purpose was to assess the fine PM-associated health risk for workers in workplaces. We compared the workers’ health risks under environmental and occupational workplaces by systematic literature review and meta-analysis. We used fixed and random effects models in meta-analysis to assess the specific disease risk that might cause by fine PM, including morbidity and mortality. We further used risk ratio as associated indicator in risk assessment. Results show that the fine PM-associated lung cancer had the highest mortality risk in workplace. The estimated risk ratio was 1.25 (95% CI: 1.09, 1.42) by random effects model. The fine PM also had significant relationships with cardiovascular diseases in workplace. The estimated risk ratio was 1.24 (1.19, 1.30) by random effects model. According to the results, traffic emission fine PM would induced the significant health risk of lung cancer for workers. It’s similar with environmental fine PM-associated health effect. Metal fumes in workplace is the major risk factor that can cause cardiovascular diseases. Compare with the fine PM from ambient atmospheric environment, the study result showed that fine PM from ambient air can only cause lower mortality risk for workers’ cardiovascular diseases. It can also increase the mortality risk for heart disease but insignificant. This study suggests that we should consider the composition characteristics, particle size distribution, and resource to further estimate the fine PM-induced health risk for workers.