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Odour as a determinant of persistent symptoms after a chemical explosion, a longitudinal study

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Foul-smelling environmental pollution was a major concern following a chemical workplace explosion. Malodorous pollution has previously been associated with aggravated physical and psychological health, and in persons affected by a trauma, an incidence-related odour can act as a traumatic reminder. Olfaction may even be of significance in the development and persistence of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). The present longitudinal study assessed whether perceived smell related to malodorous environmental pollution in the aftermath of the explosion was a determinant of subjective health complaints (SHC) and PTSS among gainfully employed adults, when the malodorous pollution was present, and after pollution clean-up. Questionnaire data from validated instruments were analysed using mixed effects models. Individual odour scores were computed, and the participants (n=486) were divided into high and low odour score groups, respectively. Participants in the high odour score group (n=233) reported more SHC and PTSS than those in the low odour score group (n=253), before and even after the pollution was eliminated. These associations lasted for at least three years after the pollution was removed, and might indicate that prompt clean-up is important to avoid persistent health effects after malodorous chemical spills.

No MeSH data available.


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Total mean scores with standard errors of the mean of The Subjective Health Complaints Inventory (SHC) and Impact of Event Scale Revised (IES-R) among participants in the high and low odour score groups, respectively, when the pollution was present in the area (2008), as well as 1 and 3 years after pollution clean-up (2010 and 2012).
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fig_003: Total mean scores with standard errors of the mean of The Subjective Health Complaints Inventory (SHC) and Impact of Event Scale Revised (IES-R) among participants in the high and low odour score groups, respectively, when the pollution was present in the area (2008), as well as 1 and 3 years after pollution clean-up (2010 and 2012).

Mentions: When the malodorous pollution was present in the area, as well as 1 and 3 years after clean-up, participants who had a high odour score reported significantly more SHC (p<0.001, p=0.002, p=0.009 in 2008, 2010 and 2012, respectively) compared to those in the low odour score group, adjusted for gender, age, smoking habits, education level and proximity to the explosion (Table 2 and Fig. 3).Table 2. Outcomes comparing the high and low odour score groupsa in 2008, 2010 and 2012, and within the odour score groupsa from 2008 to 2012.2008201020122012 vs 2008p for interactionMDb (95% CI)SMDcpTotal SHC scoredHigh odour scorea13.5412.3712.32−1.35 (−2.52, −0.18)−2.260.020.16Low odour scorea9.528.818.87−0.19 (−1.32, 0.94)−0.320.75MDb (95% CI)3.70 (2.03, 5.37)2.83 (1.05, 4.61)2.54 (0.63, 4.45)SMDc4.343.122.61p<0.0010.0020.009Subjective neurological complaints scoredHigh odour scorea3.072.512.61−0.42 (−0.77, −0.07)−2.350.020.04Low odour scorea1.831.891.850.08 (−0.26, 0.39)0.480.63MDb (95% CI)1.02 (0.56, 1.49)0.53 (0.02, 1.03)0.52 (−0.02, 1.06)SMDc4.292.041.88p<0.0010.040.06Total IES-R scoreeHigh odour scorea7.525.353.55−4.16 (−5.19, −3.14)−7.99<0.001<0.001Low odour scorea2.111.381.17−0.81 (−1.79, 0.16)−1.630.10MDb (95% CI)4.59 (3.23, 5.95)2.94 (1.68, 4.20)1.24 (0.05, 2.44)SMDc6.624.562.04p<0.001<0.0010.04


Odour as a determinant of persistent symptoms after a chemical explosion, a longitudinal study
Total mean scores with standard errors of the mean of The Subjective Health Complaints Inventory (SHC) and Impact of Event Scale Revised (IES-R) among participants in the high and low odour score groups, respectively, when the pollution was present in the area (2008), as well as 1 and 3 years after pollution clean-up (2010 and 2012).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383410&req=5

fig_003: Total mean scores with standard errors of the mean of The Subjective Health Complaints Inventory (SHC) and Impact of Event Scale Revised (IES-R) among participants in the high and low odour score groups, respectively, when the pollution was present in the area (2008), as well as 1 and 3 years after pollution clean-up (2010 and 2012).
Mentions: When the malodorous pollution was present in the area, as well as 1 and 3 years after clean-up, participants who had a high odour score reported significantly more SHC (p<0.001, p=0.002, p=0.009 in 2008, 2010 and 2012, respectively) compared to those in the low odour score group, adjusted for gender, age, smoking habits, education level and proximity to the explosion (Table 2 and Fig. 3).Table 2. Outcomes comparing the high and low odour score groupsa in 2008, 2010 and 2012, and within the odour score groupsa from 2008 to 2012.2008201020122012 vs 2008p for interactionMDb (95% CI)SMDcpTotal SHC scoredHigh odour scorea13.5412.3712.32−1.35 (−2.52, −0.18)−2.260.020.16Low odour scorea9.528.818.87−0.19 (−1.32, 0.94)−0.320.75MDb (95% CI)3.70 (2.03, 5.37)2.83 (1.05, 4.61)2.54 (0.63, 4.45)SMDc4.343.122.61p<0.0010.0020.009Subjective neurological complaints scoredHigh odour scorea3.072.512.61−0.42 (−0.77, −0.07)−2.350.020.04Low odour scorea1.831.891.850.08 (−0.26, 0.39)0.480.63MDb (95% CI)1.02 (0.56, 1.49)0.53 (0.02, 1.03)0.52 (−0.02, 1.06)SMDc4.292.041.88p<0.0010.040.06Total IES-R scoreeHigh odour scorea7.525.353.55−4.16 (−5.19, −3.14)−7.99<0.001<0.001Low odour scorea2.111.381.17−0.81 (−1.79, 0.16)−1.630.10MDb (95% CI)4.59 (3.23, 5.95)2.94 (1.68, 4.20)1.24 (0.05, 2.44)SMDc6.624.562.04p<0.001<0.0010.04

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Foul-smelling environmental pollution was a major concern following a chemical workplace explosion. Malodorous pollution has previously been associated with aggravated physical and psychological health, and in persons affected by a trauma, an incidence-related odour can act as a traumatic reminder. Olfaction may even be of significance in the development and persistence of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). The present longitudinal study assessed whether perceived smell related to malodorous environmental pollution in the aftermath of the explosion was a determinant of subjective health complaints (SHC) and PTSS among gainfully employed adults, when the malodorous pollution was present, and after pollution clean-up. Questionnaire data from validated instruments were analysed using mixed effects models. Individual odour scores were computed, and the participants (n=486) were divided into high and low odour score groups, respectively. Participants in the high odour score group (n=233) reported more SHC and PTSS than those in the low odour score group (n=253), before and even after the pollution was eliminated. These associations lasted for at least three years after the pollution was removed, and might indicate that prompt clean-up is important to avoid persistent health effects after malodorous chemical spills.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus