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Korean J Occup Environ Med. 2001 Dec;13(4):423-435. Korean. Original Article.
Yu JY , Woo KH , Kim JS , Ham JO , Choi TS , Ha BG , Jung SJ , Park SG , Kim IR .
Department of Occupational Medicine, Soon-Chun-Hyang Gumi Hospital, Korea.
Department of Occupational Medicine, Gumi Cha Hospital, Korea.
Department of Occupational Medicine, Kyung-Buk Univertisy, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Korea University, Korea.

OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of ocular, respiratory and skin symptoms among solderers and to investigate the relationship between symptom prevalence and exposure intensity. METHODS: We analyzed 126 eligible participants out of a population of 146 male solderers who completed the symptom questionnaires. Fourteen symptoms including 'itchy and red eyes', 'itchy or prickly nose', 'sneezing', 'rhinorrhea', 'blocked nose', 'pricklythroat', 'foreign body sensation in throat', 'sudden bouts of coughing', 'exertional breathlessness ', 'wheezing', 'sputum production', 'itchy face or hands', 'acneiform eruptions on the face'and 'red spots on the face or hands'were contained. Blood lead levels of all the 126 participants were tested and the participants'own assessments of the health risk of soldering were collected. RESULTS: Of the 14 investigated symptoms, 'sudden bouts of coughing'was significantly more prevalent in solderers who worked 4 hours or more a day than those who worked less than 4 hours a day, as for the other symptoms, there were no significant differences in the preva1ences related to daily soldering hours. 2.8% of the solderers considered the risk of flux exposure to be serious. The mean blood lead level was 6.05 microgram/dL (maximum 15.50 microgram /dL). CONCLUSIONS: Soldering may increase the risk of respiratory symptoms. Further investigations on the hazards of soldering processes are warranted and solderers should be educated on these hazards.

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