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Environmental and occupational particulate matter exposures and ectopic heart beats in welders
  • Published Date:
    Apr 06 2016
  • Source:
    Occup Environ Med. 73(7):435-441.

Public Access Version Available on: July 01, 2017 information icon
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  • Pubmed ID:
  • Pubmed Central ID:
  • Description:

    Links between arrhythmias and particulate matter exposures have been found among sensitive populations. We examined the relationship between personal PM2.5 (particulate matter ≤ 2.5μm aerodynamic diameter) exposures and ectopy in a panel study of healthy welders.


    Simultaneous ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG) and personal PM2.5 exposure monitoring with DustTrak™ Aerosol Monitor was performed on 72 males during work and non-work periods for 5–90 hours (median 40 hours). ECGs were summarized hourly for supraventricular ectopy (SVE) and ventricular ectopy (VE). PM2.5 exposures both work and non-work periods were averaged hourly with lags from 0- to 7-hours. Generalized linear mixed-effects models with a random participant intercept were used to examine the relationship between PM2.5 exposure and the odds of SVE or VE. Sensitivity analyses were performed to assess whether relationships differed by work period and current smokers.


    Participants had a mean(SD) age of 38(11) years and were monitored over 2,993 person-hours. The number of hourly ectopic events was highly skewed with mean(sd) of 14(69) VE and 1(4) SVE. We found marginally significant increases in VE with PM2.5 exposures in the 6th and 7th hour lags, yet no association with SVE. For every 100μg/m3 increase in 6th hour lagged PM2.5, the adjusted OR(95% CI) for VE was 1.03(1.00, 1.05). Results persisted in work or non-work exposure periods and non-smokers had increased odds of VE associated with PM2.5 as compared to smokers.


    A small increase in the odds of ventricular ectopy with short term PM2.5 exposure was observed among relatively healthy men with environmental and occupational exposures.

  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Funding:
    P30 ES000002/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS/United States
    R01 ES009860/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS/United States
    T32 ES007069/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS/United States
    T42 OH008416/OH/NIOSH CDC HHS/United States
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