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According to a study, dust in offices may cause rheumatoid arthritis.

The typical person working a traditional day job spends roughly eight hours per day at their desk, which could expose them to countless toxins over time. A recent study that was published in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Diseases suggests that breathing in dust and fumes from various vapors’, gases, and solvents that are regularly used at work may increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic condition that causes autoimmune joint pain and inflammation, affects up to one in 100 persons globally. There is evidence that cigarette smoking increases the chance of rheumatoid arthritis development as well, however there is less support for the theory that occupational toxins constitute the disease’s origin. The typical person working a regular day job spends roughly eight hours per day at their office, which could expose them to countless toxins over time.

To examine this risk, researchers examined information from the Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of RA, which included 4,033 people with newly diagnosed RA between 1996 and 2017. The control group consisted of nearly 6,500 healthy people without arthritis who were matched for age and sex.
The study’s authors also calculated each person’s exposure to 32 different airborne contaminants in a typical workplace using information on previous employment.
By establishing their Genetic Risk Score, participants’ genetic predisposition to RA was also taken into consideration (GRS). Positive anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) are linked to increased rates of joint damage and a worse prognosis for RA.
Over 73% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who tested positive (73%) and negative (72%) for ACPA were exposed to at least one of the workplace dusts or fumes, the researchers found, compared to roughly 67% of those in the control group. The researchers discovered that being exposed to the agents increased the risk of having RA, and that smoking and hereditary risk factors made matters noticeably worse.

Triple exposure is defined as smoking, having a high GRS, and being exposed to pollutants at work. This group demonstrated a link to arthritis onset that was 16 to 68 times stronger than “triple non-exposure.”
The study team also found that the biggest impact on health outcomes was from exposures lasting between eight and fifteen years. Men were exposed to hazardous compounds more frequently than women throughout time.
In particular, 17 of the 32 agents, including fungicides, asbestos, diesel fumes, gasoline, and carbon monoxide, demonstrated a strong link with a higher likelihood of ACPA-positive disease. Only three things—quartz dust, asbestos, and detergents—were connected to ACPA-negative illness.
Even though this study is observational and cannot establish a direct link between RA and occupational emissions, the team came to the conclusion that environmental factors should frequently be taken into consideration in RA diagnosis.