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Infectious pneumonia in workers exposed to metal fume 

Infectious pneumonia in workers exposed to metal fume
Chapter:
Infectious pneumonia in workers exposed to metal fume
Author(s):

Keith T. Palmer

and David Coggon

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199683901.003.0004
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date: 29 March 2020

The intriguing observation that welders have an increased mortality from infectious pneumonia was made several decades ago, and has since been corroborated by studies of incidence. The hazard extends to other occupations entailing exposure to metal fume, relates especially to lobar and pneumococcal pneumonia, and appears to be short-term and reversible when exposure ceases. However, questions remain about which types of metal fume are responsible, the effects on infection by other pathogens, and the relation of risk to levels of exposure. This chapter reviews the growing evidence on causation and pathogenesis, and highlight recent developments concerning prevention of a relatively neglected occupational hazard.

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