1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: High respiratory hazards among search and rescue workers (SRWs) emerged after the World Trade Center attacks on 11 September 2001. There have been limited studies on respiratory symptoms among earthquake SRWs. We investigated the respiratory symptoms and the use of respiratory protective equipment among the SRWs who responded to the 2016 Taiwan earthquake. Methods: On 6 February 2016, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan and caused 513 injuries and 117 deaths. During the 9-day field operation, 519 firefighters affiliated with the Tainan City Government Fire Bureau participated in the search and rescue response. A standardised, self-completed questionnaire was used to collect data on demographics, dust exposures, personal protective measures and health outcomes 3 weeks after the earthquake. Descriptive and multivariate analyses adjusting for demographics and exposure variables were performed for new or worsened outcomes. Results: Of the 519 SRWs, 414 (80%) responded to the questionnaire. Of these SRWs, 153 (37%) reported new or worsened respiratory symptoms, with cough (23%) as the leading symptom, followed by rhinorrhoea or nasal congestion (22%) and chest tightness (6%). More than 90% of the symptoms persisted to the third week after the earthquake. The prevalence of new or worsened respiratory symptoms was significantly higher among SRWs with a higher level of exposure to dust. Prior training in response to respiratory pollutants was only 5%. Conclusions: There were significant respiratory hazards among earthquake SRWs. The persistent symptoms and low coverage of training warrant further regular examination and occupational health programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-646
Number of pages8
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume75
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 1

Fingerprint

Earthquakes
Taiwan
Dust
Demography
Firefighters
Local Government
Occupational Health
Nose
Cough
Thorax
Multivariate Analysis
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Equipment and Supplies
Health
Wounds and Injuries

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

@article{ea4e06e4e8e443a59103ff1ee00da8d9,
title = "Respiratory symptoms among search and rescue workers who responded to the 2016 Taiwan earthquake",
abstract = "Objectives: High respiratory hazards among search and rescue workers (SRWs) emerged after the World Trade Center attacks on 11 September 2001. There have been limited studies on respiratory symptoms among earthquake SRWs. We investigated the respiratory symptoms and the use of respiratory protective equipment among the SRWs who responded to the 2016 Taiwan earthquake. Methods: On 6 February 2016, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan and caused 513 injuries and 117 deaths. During the 9-day field operation, 519 firefighters affiliated with the Tainan City Government Fire Bureau participated in the search and rescue response. A standardised, self-completed questionnaire was used to collect data on demographics, dust exposures, personal protective measures and health outcomes 3 weeks after the earthquake. Descriptive and multivariate analyses adjusting for demographics and exposure variables were performed for new or worsened outcomes. Results: Of the 519 SRWs, 414 (80{\%}) responded to the questionnaire. Of these SRWs, 153 (37{\%}) reported new or worsened respiratory symptoms, with cough (23{\%}) as the leading symptom, followed by rhinorrhoea or nasal congestion (22{\%}) and chest tightness (6{\%}). More than 90{\%} of the symptoms persisted to the third week after the earthquake. The prevalence of new or worsened respiratory symptoms was significantly higher among SRWs with a higher level of exposure to dust. Prior training in response to respiratory pollutants was only 5{\%}. Conclusions: There were significant respiratory hazards among earthquake SRWs. The persistent symptoms and low coverage of training warrant further regular examination and occupational health programmes.",
author = "Chen-Long Wu and Fan-Yun Lan and Bo-Lei Chen and Chang, {Ray Hsienho} and Wei-Hung Chang and Pan, {Shih Tien} and Pin-Hui Fang and Chien-Hsin Lu and Chih-Hao Lin",
year = "2018",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1136/oemed-2018-105027",
language = "English",
volume = "75",
pages = "639--646",
journal = "Occupational and Environmental Medicine",
issn = "1351-0711",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Respiratory symptoms among search and rescue workers who responded to the 2016 Taiwan earthquake

AU - Wu, Chen-Long

AU - Lan, Fan-Yun

AU - Chen, Bo-Lei

AU - Chang, Ray Hsienho

AU - Chang, Wei-Hung

AU - Pan, Shih Tien

AU - Fang, Pin-Hui

AU - Lu, Chien-Hsin

AU - Lin, Chih-Hao

PY - 2018/9/1

Y1 - 2018/9/1

N2 - Objectives: High respiratory hazards among search and rescue workers (SRWs) emerged after the World Trade Center attacks on 11 September 2001. There have been limited studies on respiratory symptoms among earthquake SRWs. We investigated the respiratory symptoms and the use of respiratory protective equipment among the SRWs who responded to the 2016 Taiwan earthquake. Methods: On 6 February 2016, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan and caused 513 injuries and 117 deaths. During the 9-day field operation, 519 firefighters affiliated with the Tainan City Government Fire Bureau participated in the search and rescue response. A standardised, self-completed questionnaire was used to collect data on demographics, dust exposures, personal protective measures and health outcomes 3 weeks after the earthquake. Descriptive and multivariate analyses adjusting for demographics and exposure variables were performed for new or worsened outcomes. Results: Of the 519 SRWs, 414 (80%) responded to the questionnaire. Of these SRWs, 153 (37%) reported new or worsened respiratory symptoms, with cough (23%) as the leading symptom, followed by rhinorrhoea or nasal congestion (22%) and chest tightness (6%). More than 90% of the symptoms persisted to the third week after the earthquake. The prevalence of new or worsened respiratory symptoms was significantly higher among SRWs with a higher level of exposure to dust. Prior training in response to respiratory pollutants was only 5%. Conclusions: There were significant respiratory hazards among earthquake SRWs. The persistent symptoms and low coverage of training warrant further regular examination and occupational health programmes.

AB - Objectives: High respiratory hazards among search and rescue workers (SRWs) emerged after the World Trade Center attacks on 11 September 2001. There have been limited studies on respiratory symptoms among earthquake SRWs. We investigated the respiratory symptoms and the use of respiratory protective equipment among the SRWs who responded to the 2016 Taiwan earthquake. Methods: On 6 February 2016, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan and caused 513 injuries and 117 deaths. During the 9-day field operation, 519 firefighters affiliated with the Tainan City Government Fire Bureau participated in the search and rescue response. A standardised, self-completed questionnaire was used to collect data on demographics, dust exposures, personal protective measures and health outcomes 3 weeks after the earthquake. Descriptive and multivariate analyses adjusting for demographics and exposure variables were performed for new or worsened outcomes. Results: Of the 519 SRWs, 414 (80%) responded to the questionnaire. Of these SRWs, 153 (37%) reported new or worsened respiratory symptoms, with cough (23%) as the leading symptom, followed by rhinorrhoea or nasal congestion (22%) and chest tightness (6%). More than 90% of the symptoms persisted to the third week after the earthquake. The prevalence of new or worsened respiratory symptoms was significantly higher among SRWs with a higher level of exposure to dust. Prior training in response to respiratory pollutants was only 5%. Conclusions: There were significant respiratory hazards among earthquake SRWs. The persistent symptoms and low coverage of training warrant further regular examination and occupational health programmes.

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JO - Occupational and Environmental Medicine

JF - Occupational and Environmental Medicine

SN - 1351-0711

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