The Relationship of Welding Fume Exposure, Smoking, and Pulmonary Function in Welders

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between occupational exposure to welding fumes and pulmonary function in an effort to add supportive evidence and clarity to the current body of research. This study utilized a retrospective chart review of pulmonary function testing and pulmonary questionnaires already available in charts from preplacement physicals to the most recent test. When comparing smokers to nonsmokers, utilizing multiple regression and controlling for age and percentage of time using a respirator, years welding was statistically significant at p = .04. Data support that smoking has a synergistic effect when combined with welding fume exposure on pulmonary decline.

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