Saf Health Work.  2017 Sep;8(3):250-257. 10.1016/j.shaw.2016.11.006.

Occupational Tasks Influencing Lung Function and Respiratory Symptoms Among Charcoal-Production Workers: A Time-Series Study

Affiliations
  • 1Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand. alan.g@psu.ac.th
  • 2Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand.
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand.
  • 4Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Physical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Tasks involved in traditional charcoal production expose workers to various levels of charcoal dust and wood smoke. This study aimed to identify specific tasks influencing lung function and respiratory symptoms.
METHODS
Interviews, direct observation, and task/symptom checklists were used to collect data from 50 charcoal-production workers on 3 nonwork days followed by 11 workdays. The peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) was measured four times per day.
RESULTS
The PEFR was reduced and the prevalence of respiratory symptoms increased over the first 6–7 workdays. The PEFR increased until evening on nonwork days but not on workdays. Loading the kiln and collecting charcoal from within the kiln markedly reduced the PEFR and increased the odds of respiratory symptoms.
CONCLUSION
Tasks involving entry into the kiln were strongly associated with a short-term drop in the PEFR and the occurrence of respiratory symptoms, suggesting a need for the use of protective equipment and/or the operation of an effective kiln ventilation system.

Keyword

Keywords; charcoal-production worker; peak expiratory flow rate; respiratory symptoms; wood smoke
Full Text Links
  • SHAW
Share
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Copyright © 2020 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr