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Respiratory Protective Equipment, Mask Use, and Respiratory Outcomes among World Trade Center Rescue and Recovery Workers

Antao, Vinicius C.; Pallos, L. Lászlo; Shim, Youn K.; Sapp II, James H.; Brackbill, Robert M.; Cone, James E.; Stellman, Steven D.; Farfel, Mark R.

Background
Serious respiratory illnesses have been reported among rescue/recovery workers (RRW) following the World Trade Center (WTC) attacks.

Methods
We studied RRW enrolled in the WTC Health Registry to assess the effects of different respiratory protection equipment (RPE) types on respiratory outcomes, such as recurrent respiratory symptoms and diseases possibly associated with 9/11 exposures. We performed descriptive and multivariate analyses adjusting for demographics and exposure variables.

Results
A total of 9,296 RRW met inclusion criteria. The strongest predictors of using adequate RPE were being affiliated with construction, utilities or environmental remediation organizations and having received RPE training. Workers who used respirators were less likely to report adverse respiratory outcomes compared to those who reported no/lower levels of respiratory protection.

Conclusions
Level of respiratory protection was associated with the odds of reporting respiratory symptoms and diseases. Training, selection, fit testing, and consistent use of RPE should be emphasized among emergency responders.

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Also Published In

Title
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.21009

More About This Work

Academic Units
Epidemiology
Publisher
Wiley Periodicals
Published Here
June 4, 2014
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