Investigations on immune parameters in welders. H. Tuschl, E. Weber and R. Kovac. J. Appl. Toxicology, November--December 1997, 17(6), 377--383.
The aim of the investigation reported was to study the effects of welding fumes on the human immune system. An examination was undertaken of thirty males who had regularly welded and 16 control persons without occupational exposure. The results which are presented and discussed indicate the only parameter to show significantly different immunocompetence between exposed and reference subjects was the cytotoxic index of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells. Human LAK cells are mainly NK cells. Because the NK cell is an important defence mechanism against virus infection, the reduced cytotoxic activity in welders may be related to the increased rate of respiratory infections reported by welders. 23 refs.