This paper reviews associations in literature between exposure to wood dust from fresh wood and non-malignant respiratory diseases. Criteria for inclusion are epidemiological studies in English language journals with an internal or external control group describing relationships between wood dust exposure and respiratory diseases or symptoms. The papers took into account smoking, and when dealing with lung function took age into consideration. A total of 25 papers concerning exposure to fresh wood and mixed wood formed the basis of this review. The results support an association between fresh wood dust exposure and asthma, asthma symptoms, coughing, bronchitis, and acute and chronic impairment of lung function. In addition, an association between fresh wood dust exposure and rhino-conjunctivitis was seen across studies. Apart from plicatic acid in western red cedar wood, no causal agent was consistently disclosed. Type 1 allergy is not suspected of being a major cause of wood dust induced asthma. Concurrent exposure to microorganisms and terpenes probably add to the inherent risk of wood dust exposure in the fresh wood industry.
PMID 20684477 - click here to show this article in PubMed