Richards A L, Hyams K C, Watts D M, Rozmajzl P J, Woody J N, Merrell B R
Bibliographic info:
American Journal of Public Health, Vol 83, No 9, September 1993, pp1326-1329, 4 tabs, 27 refs.

Th is paper exmined whether US military personnel during Operation Desert Shield were adversely affected by respiratory disease due to crowded living conditions and high levels of suspended and blowing sand. The research was based on a questionnaire given to 2598 combatants stationed in North East Saudi Arabia for a mean of 102 days. Surface sand was analyzed from seven locations by scanning, electron microscopy and X Ray diffraction. 34.4% of respondents complained of sore throats, 43.1% of a cough, 15.4% of chronic rhinorrhea and 1.8% were unable to work due to symptoms in the upper respiratory tract. Complaints of sore throats and coughs were most frequent among those sleeping in air conditioned rooms. Conversely, complaints of rhinorrhea occurred most often among those sleeping in tents. Only 1% of the sand samples by weight included respirable quartz and no pathogenic fungi or bacteria were isolated. The results indicate that the upper respiratory complaints were probably the result of exposure either to air conditioning or outdoor air pollutants and allergens rather than sand .