Volume 2, Number 4 (Autumn 2013)                   JOHE 2013, 2(4): 146-156 | Back to browse issues page



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Ashrafi-Asgarabad A, Samareh-Fekri M, khanjani N, GhotbiRavandi M. Exposure to particles and respiratory symptoms in stone carvers of Kerman, Iran. JOHE. 2013; 2 (4) :146-156
URL: http://johe.rums.ac.ir/article-1-82-en.html

Assistant Prof., Dept of Occupational Health, Faculty of Public Health, Kerman Medical University, Kerman, Iran.
Abstract:   (1506 Views)

  Background: Exposure to respirable particulate matter containing silica in the working environment can lead to respiratory diseases and other health hazards. The current study was designed to estimate the prevalence of lung diseases and their determining factors in the stone carvers of Kerman, Iran.

  Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which 67 male workers exposed to stone carving dust and 67 unexposed workers who were matched in regard to different characteristics were evaluated. Questionnaires were completed by the participants and chest radiography and spirometry were perfomed for each participant. Different outcomes were compared between the exposed and unexposed groups and also subgroups of the exposed. Data were analyzed using chi-square, t-test, Pearson's correlation, and logistic regression through SPSS 16 and STATA 12 software.

  Results: The mean annual cumulative exposure to respirable dust was 3.8 mg/m3, which was higher than the permissible limit. Symptoms, such as frequent coughs, wheezing, dyspnea, rhinorrhea, sinusitis, and hyposmia, were more prevalent in the exposed workers. Some pulmonary function parameters had decreased significantly in the exposed workers. Some factors related to working conditions, such as working in confined environments, small workshops, not using appropriate masks, increased daily working hours, and increase in working days, were significantly associated with exacerbation of respiratory symptoms.

  Conclusions: Despite the strong presence of the healthy worker effect, our study shows that high occupational exposure to particulate dust has led to respiratory symptoms, radiographic abnormalities, and decreased lung function in stone carvers of Kerman . This study urges more surveillance and control over works exposed to dust in developing countries.

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Type of Study: original article | Subject: Epidemiology

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