Respiratory Problems in
Art Teachers

Because of reports of respiratory complaints in Swedish industrial  arts (IA) teachers, a cross-sectional study was performed on 130 IA teachers in Stockholm to study the relationship between the work environment and health, and especially the aforementioned complaints. 

One hundred and twelve other school employees served as control subjects.  Sex, age, and smoking habit distribution were similar in the two groups.  All subjects answered a questionnaire about their health problems, and the IA teachers answered questions about their work environment. The work environment consisted of many old and neglected workshops (hereafter called shops).  Compared to the control subjects, the IA teachers had more complaints in respect  of the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lower airways - including chronic bronchitis (OR 12.4, 95% confidence interval 2.95-110.5).

A higher occurrence of symptoms existed in shops with bad ventilation and dust-spreading machines and in shops where dust-spreading cleanup methods were used.  A suspected interaction between smoking and work environment was noted for some symptoms, especially impaired smell and chronic bronchitis. In conclusion, several factors in the work environment were identified as risk factors for health. Identification of these risk factors should result in a program to reduce the health problems in the work environment.
The preceding abstract was reprinted with permission from Section 35 (Occupational Health and Industrial Medicine) of Excerpta Medica.

Respiratory Problems in Art Teachers
Work Related Respiratory Problems in Industrial Arts Teachers - Ahman M., Soderman  E., Cynkier I. and Kolmodin-Hedman B. - Dept Occupational Environmental Med, Huddinge University Hospital,  S-141 86 Huddinge SWE INT. ARCH. OCCUP. ENVIRON. HEALTH, 1995 67/2  (111-118).

Art Hazard News, Volume 18, No. 4, 1995

This article was originally printed for Art Hazard News, © copyright Center for Safety in the Arts 1995. It appears on nontoxicprint courtesy of the Health in the Arts Program, University of Illinois at Chicago, who have curated a collection of these articles from their archive which are still relevant to artists today.