Thirty firemen were studied with pulmonary function tests immediately after a severe smoke exposure and then one and a half and 18 months later in order to evaluate acute and chronic changes in their spirometry. The results were compared with predicted values and with those from a group of closely matched control subjects. We found no significant differences between the acute post-exposure spirometry values and those recorded at six weeks and 18 months later. A trend toward an increased rate of volume loss in the FVC and FEV1 was noted which is similar to other published observations. However, we did find a significant decrement in FVC compared with predicted value, and in FVC and FEV1 compared with control subjects. This is further evidence that firemen may develop lung disease related to their occupational exposure.
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