The influence of workplace environment on lung function of flour mill workers in Jalgaon urban center

School of Environmental Sciences, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon, India.
Journal of Occupational Health (Impact Factor: 1.1). 10/2006; 48(5):396-401. DOI: 10.1539/joh.48.396
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The workplace environment affects the health of workers. Unhygienic conditions are observed in the workplace environment of flour mills as fine organic flour dust gets airborne in the indoor environment of the flour mills. The present work was undertaken to study the health problems related to the workplace environment of flour mill workers. The results show that flour mill workers are receiving a heavy dose (average exposure concentration, 624 microg/m3) of flour dust. To determine the impact of flour dust on the lung function of the workers spirometric analysis was conducted. Significant declines in forced vital capacity (FVC), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) were observed in the flour mill workers as compared to expected values. This study reveals reduced lung efficiency of flour mill workers due to excessive exposure to fine organic dust prevalent in the workplace environment. The impairment in lung efficiency was increased with duration of exposure in the flour mill workers. The analysis of questionnaires used to generate information on self-reported problems reveals that most of the workers were suffering from asthma and respiratory problems. Furthermore, the data shows that 42% of the flour mill workers were having shortness of breath problems, 34% of workers were having frequent coughing, and 19% workers were having respiratory tract irritation. We recommend the compulsory use of personal protective equipment (nose mask) by flour mill workers during working hours. This would help to protect the workers health from the flour dust prevalent in the workplace environment. A regular periodic examination is necessary to measure the impact of particulate matter on the health of the flour mill workers.


Available from: Nilesh Deorao Wagh, Apr 21, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Exposure to flour dust is an important risk factor in occurrence of allergic airway disorders
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To assess the effect of exposure to flour dust on respiratory symptoms and lung function of flour mill workers and to estimate the additive effect of smoking on pulmonary function. Patients and methods This study was carried out at flour mills in Sohag Governorate. Two hundred male workers with current exposure to flour dust and two hundred non-exposed male as a control group were interviewed and self designed study questionnaire was administered to them and the parameters of their pulmonary function were measured. Results Respiratory symptoms such as cough, expectoration, wheezing, and shortness of breath, were significantly (p < 0.0001) higher among exposed workers as compared to unexposed. Furthermore highly significant (p < 0.0001) decrements in the pulmonary function of exposed subjects were noted. Moreover, a highly significant decline in FEV1%, FVC% and FEV1/FVC% was noticed regarding the duration of exposure to flour dust (p < 0.0001). Also, there was a highly significant difference between heavily exposed compared to lightly exposed subjects (p < 0.001). The additive effect of smoking was noticed as there was a highly significant decline of FVC%, FEV1%, FEV1/FVC%, FEF25% and FEF75% in smokers compared to non-smokers (p < 0.0001). Conclusion Flour mill workers in Sohag Governorate, like grain workers elsewhere, were at an increased risk of developing pulmonary symptoms, a strong association exists between exposure to flour dust and the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and functional impairments of the lungs. The result has implications for improved dust control measures in the grain industry in Egypt.
    10/2013; 62(4). DOI:10.1016/j.ejcdt.2013.09.007
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To assess the effect of exposure to flour dust on pulmonary function tests, prevalence of symptoms (respiratory, allergic/irritating) and parameters of allergic sensitization in terms of skin prick test, and bronchial hyper-responsiveness. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 43 bakers (with at least 2 years of occupational exposure) working at different bakeries in Ismailia city, Egypt; and 64 control subjects of comparable socio demographic characteristics were compared. All participants were subjected to an interview questionnaire, clinical chest examination, skin prick test, bronchial hyper-responsiveness test and measurements of pulmonary function parameters. RESULTS: All respiratory and allergic symptoms were more prevalent among bakers compared to the control group, with the highest odds ratio for allergic symptoms (OR = 6.9; p < 0.0001) and dyspnea (OR = 6.3; p = 0.0004). Bakers had a higher percentage of SPT positive results with statistically significant difference between the two groups (p < 0.0001). Bakers had lower observed values compared to the control group with statistically significant difference for FVC, FEV1/FVC ratio, FEF75%, and FEF25-75% parameters. CONCLUSION: The present study suggested that occupational exposure to flour dust may affect respiratory irritation and sensitization, and reduce the pulmonary function tests such as FVC, FEV1, and FEV1/FVC ratio and FEF25-75%.
    International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 04/2013; DOI:10.2478/s13382-013-0082-6 · 1.09 Impact Factor