Respiratory

Additional Respiratory Health Publications

Burgess JL, Morrissey B, Keifer M, Robertson WO. Fumigant-related illnesses: Washington States’s five-year experience. Journal of Toxicology Clinical Toxicology. 2000;38:7-14.PUBMED Abstract

Burgess JL, Brodkin CA, Daniell WE, Pappas GP, Keifer M, Stover BD, Edland SD, Barnhart S. Longitudinal decline in measured firefighter single-breath diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide values. A respiratory surveillance dilemma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999;159(1):119-24.

Aggravating Factors of Asthma in a Rural Environment (NIH&CDC, 2009-2013)


This community based project characterizes ambient triggers of asthma in the rural setting by following 50 (children and adults) asthmatic community participants, mapping their exacerbations and comparing these with known agricultural exposures. Subsequently, ambient sampling with an innovative and adaptable sampler will confirm the nature of the exposures and an informational campaign will share the findings with the public, clinicians and the scientific community. A multifaceted evaluation will assess the process, outcomes and impact of the program on the partnership, the participants, the clinical providers and the community.

Feasibility: Assessment of Farmers' Exposure to Smoke from Agricultural Burning (NIOSH/CDC, 2002-2004)

The aim of this project was to investigate farm workers’ exposure to agricultural burning smoke and the resulting airborne pollutants and to assess the potential health hazards. Washington State University was our principal partner on the project. The results showed acute exposure at levels far higher than the EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard and the occupational standards for respiratory dust. These preliminary results contribute to a larger study conducted in the same agricultural community on exposure and health effects in a research partnership between the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Washington State University. The long-term impact of this and subsequent studies could effect workplace practices and government policy.

Pilot Project: Characterization of Bioaerosols in Washington Dairy Barns (NIOSH/CDC, 2007-2008)

Dairy workers in concentrated animal feeding operations may be at risk for respiratory illness from bioaerosols. This exploratory project in partnership with Washington State University quantified both organism and endotoxin levels and correlated them with environmental factors. A sampling methodology for organism dense environments was developed and described.

Respiratory Health in the Seafood Processing Industry (NIOSH/CDC 1996-2001)

Aerosolized crab antigens are suspected etiologic agents for asthma among crab processing workers. The goal of this study was to characterize crab antigen levels in processing facilities in relative to the prevalence of respiratory symptoms. Industry and labor representatives in the Northwest have identified respiratory illness, specifically asthma, among those who process crab. In addition, industry representatives have noted difficulty in determining which processing areas may be associated with the greatest risk. UniSea, a Dutch Harbor, Alaska crab processing company, was identified as a research study site to assess the respiratory health of crab processing workers. Specifically, the project goals were to characterize the cross-seasonal changes in respiratory function, as well as determine the incidence of respiratory symptoms, particularly those meeting a rigorous case definition of asthma. The study included pre- and post-season questionnaire administration, pulmonary function testing including methacholine challenge, blood collection to assess immune system responsiveness to crab proteins, and crab antigen exposure assessment.

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