Respiratory health effects related to occupational spray painting and welding

S. Katharine Hammond, Ellen B Gold, Robin Baker, Patricia Quinlan, William Smith, Robert Pandya, John Balmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective: We sought to study respiratory symptoms among automobile assembly workers. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, we compared rates of respiratory symptoms and of physician-diagnosed asthma and COPD in painters and welders to those in assembly workers. Results: Respiratory symptom reporting was significantly increased among welders (odds ratio [OR] = 1.79-2.61) compared with painters or assembly workers, after age, race, and smoking adjustment in multiple logistic regression analyses. Welders also reported significantly more improvement in symptoms on weekends or vacation. However, no significant elevations in adjusted ORs were observed for physician-diagnosed asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for welders. In contrast, significantly more painters had physician-diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR = 3.73, 95% confidence interval = 1.27, 11.0). Conclusions: Welders and painters in this plant appeared to have increased risk of respiratory health effects compared with assembly workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-739
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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