An engineering intervention resulting in improvement in lung function and change in urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine among foundry workers in Taiwan

Ming Hsiu Lin, Saou Hsing Liou, Ching Wen Chang, I. Hsiao Huang, Paul T. Strickland, Ching Huang Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To assess changes in oxidative DNA damage and lung function amongst a group of foundry workers resulting from an engineering intervention to reduce air respirable dust in their working environment. Methods: We studied all 22 workers recruited from a typical small Taiwanese iron foundry plant before and 3 months after improvements to air exhaust control. The effectiveness of the air exhaust intervention in reducing respirable dust and SiO2 was determined by personal breathing-zone air sampling. Initial baseline biomarker measurements were taken of lung function and urinary 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in all of the workers, with follow-up measurements taken 3 months after the engineering control was put in place. Generalized estimating equations were used to assess the effect of the intervention on lung function and oxidative DNA damage. Results: Following the intervention, respirable dust density decreased from 2.87 ± 1.38 mg/m3 to 1.60 ± 0.70 mg/m3 (p = 0.07), and SiO 2 concentration decreased from 0.43 ± 0.25 mg/m3 to 0.18 ± 0.11 mg/m3 (p < 0.05). Compared to initial baseline, significant improvements were found in lung function (FVC, FEV1, FVC%pred and FEV1%pred) amongst the workers after the engineering intervention. A significant increase in concentration of urinary 8-OHdG was observed after the engineering intervention in smokers, but not in non-smokers. Conclusions: These findings indicate that reductions in workplace respirable dust and SiO 2 concentration can result in improved lung function amongst foundry workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011



  • 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine
  • Engineering intervention
  • Foundry workers
  • Lung function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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