Pulmonary Abnormalities Associated With Occupational Exposures at the Savannah River Site

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BackgroundA program of medical evaluation for former Savannah River Site (SRS)workers at health effects due to exposures to hazardous or radioactive agents wasconducted.MethodsThis study includes data from 1,368 participants aged 45 years or older whowere assessed regarding work-history and exposures to industrial agents. According to thestandard industrial classification (SIC), participants were employed in five of the SICdivisions. Based on the International Labour Office Classification of Radiographs, twocategories of pleural and parenchymal abnormalities were evaluated by a singleradiologist. The SRS results were compared with the second national health and nutritionexamination survey (NHANES II) results.ResultsThe odds ratio of the SRS male aged 45—75 compared to NHANES was 2.4 forpleura abnormalities and 0.8 for parenchymal abnormalities. Using logistic regression,the highest-risk worker division was construction (OR = 2.76); asbestos exposure wasclearly associated with pleural abnormality (OR = 2.15).ConclusionsPulmonary abnormalities were higher in former SRS workers than that ingeneral population. Asbestos and possibly other exposures were related to pulmonarydisease in this population.

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