Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) and Spirometry as Indicators of Inhalation Exposure to Chemical Agents in Pathology Workers

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The objective of this study was to examine whether fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and spirometry can be used as indices to evaluate adverse health effects of low-concentrated chemical inhalation exposure, mainly to formaldehyde.


Thirty-three subjects (pathology technicians) and 30 controls (workers without handling any chemicals in the same hospitals) participated in this study. All participants underwent FeNO measurement and spirometry before and after 5 days of work.


FeNO significantly increased in the subjects with a history of asthma (P < 0.05), whereas forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) decreased in the subjects (P < 0.05). Furthermore, work duration and pre-work levels of FEV1 in the subjects had a significant association.


The results suggest that FeNO, FVC, and FEV1 represent effective health-effect indices of low-concentrated chemical inhalation exposure.

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