Saf Health Work.  2017 Mar;8(1):84-88. 10.1016/

Respiratory Disorders Among Workers in Slaughterhouses

  • 1Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Health, Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
  • 2Research Center for Health Sciences, Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
  • 3Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • 4Department of Epidemiology, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
  • 5Enthusiast, London, UK.


Workers in slaughterhouses are exposed to a wide range of biological contaminants, such as bacteria and fungi, due to their working environment. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of respiratory disorders among workers in slaughterhouses.
This study was conducted on 81 workers in slaughterhouses and 81 healthy office workers as a reference group. The American Thoracic Society standard respiratory symptoms questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence of respiratory disorders. Besides, lung function tests were conducted using a calibrated spirometer at the beginning (preshift) and at the end (postshift) of the 1st working day. Single-stage Anderson sampler was used to measure the concentration of bioaerosols in different parts of slaughterhouses.
The prevalence of respiratory disorders, such as cough, productive cough, breathlessness, phlegm, and wheezing, was 3.17, 4.02, 3.07, 4.66, and 3.94 times, respectively, higher among workers in slaughterhouses compared with the reference group.
The prevalence of respiratory disorders was significantly higher among workers in slaughterhouses. Thus, the significant reduction in the percentage predicted lung function among workers in slaughterhouses might be associated with exposure to bioaerosols in their work environment.


bioaerosols; environmental contamination; industrial slaughterhouses; lung function parameters; respiratory disorder
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