Acute respiratory effects in firefighters
Associations between acute respiratory inflammatory responses, changes in bronchial hyperresponsiveness, serum pneumoprotein levels, and exposure to fire smoke were investigated in this study. The study comprised 51 firefighters. Blood samples were taken within 24 h following exposure to fire smoke, and after a week and 3 mo. Sputum was induced within 5 days post-exposure and subjects underwent spirometry and methacholine provocation one week post-exposure. Exposure was registered by a questionnaire. The results showed that no changes were observed following smoke exposure in bronchial hyperresponsiveness and serum pneumoprotein levels. Nevertheless, in a sizable proportion of the firefighters (44%) elevated sputum neutrophil levels (g60%) were found. Serum IL-8 concentrations were higher 24 h post-exposure compared to pre-exposure. Elevated neutrophil levels in sputum were associated with elevated serum IL-8 (â ) 0.010, P ) 0.004) and TNFR (â ) 0.005, P ) 0.034) levels within 24 h post exposure and IL-8 elevation lasted up to 3 months. the authors concluded that acute exposure to fire smoke induces acute neutrophilic airway and long lasting systemic inflammation in healthy firefighters in the absence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness.