Research conducted over 24 years has linked workplace exposure to fumes and dust with an increased risk of death from dementia, heart disease, and lung-related issues.
The study, involving over 6,000 workers, found that long-term exposure to vapours, gases, dusts, and fumes (VGDF) was significantly associated with higher mortality rates from various diseases.
Workers in occupations with high exposure to airborne particulate matter faced increased risks of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, with the highest mortality related to coronary artery diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, and chronic lower airways diseases.
Men with high exposure had significantly higher risks of mortality from coronary artery diseases and dementia compared to those with no exposure.
The findings highlight the importance of minimizing long-term occupational exposure to respiratory hazards, with the study being among the first to show a higher mortality rate from dementia-related causes due to occupational exposure.
While the exact mechanism is not fully understood, the study suggests a potential link between occupational exposure and long-term effects on brain health. Previous studies have also linked workplace exposure to VGDF with other health issues such as ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.
Access the study in full here