Exposure to Oil Spill Chemicals and Lung Function in Deepwater Horizon Disaster Response Workers

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Objective:The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between total hydrocarbon (THC) exposures attributed to oil spill clean-up work and lung function 1 to 3 years after the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster.Methods:We used data from the GuLF STUDY, a large cohort of adults who worked on response to the DWH disaster and others who were safety trained but did not work. We analyzed data from 6288 workers with two acceptable spirometry tests. We estimated THC exposure levels with a job exposure matrix. We evaluated lung function using the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1; mL), the forced vital capacity (FVC; mL), and the FEV1/FVC ratio (%).Results:Lung function measures did not differ by THC exposure levels among clean-up workers.Conclusion:We did not observe an association between THC exposure and lung function among clean-up workers 1 to 3 years following the DWH disaster.

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