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Chemosensory loss in WTC-exposed workers.

Individuals involved in rescue, recovery, demolition, and cleanup at the World Trade Center (WTC) site were exposed to a complex mixture of airborne smoke, dust, combustion gases, acid mists, and metal fumes. Such exposures have the potential to impair nasal chemosensory (olfactory and trigeminal) function. Dalton et al. (p. 1251) Studied the prevalence of chemosensory dysfunction and nasal inflammation among individuals at the WTC site during and soon after 11 September 2001. The prevalence of olfactory and trigeminal nerve sensitivity loss was significantly greater in the WTC-exposed group compared with a comparison group; individuals caught in the dust cloud from the collapse of the WTC exhibited the most profound trigeminal loss. Analysis of nasal lavage samples supported the clinical findings of chronic nasal inflammation among the WTC-exposed cohort. The prevalence of significant chemosensory impairment raises concerns about long-term health effects in individuals > 2 years after exposure and highlights the need for chemosensory evaluations among individuals with exposure to acute high or chronic levels of airborne pollutants.

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Title Annotation:Research; World Trade Center
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2010
Words:166
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