Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink

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More respiratory symptoms in municipal solid waste workers in Greece

solid wasteTo evaluate the respiratory health of municipal solid waste workers (MSWWs), Greek researchers studied 184 municipal employees of Keratsini (104 MSWWs and 80 controls) with questionnaire and spirometry. Spirometry revealed a reduced mean forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (as a percentage of predicted values) in MSWWs compared with controls. After adjustment for smoking status, only the decline in FVC was statistically significant (P < 0.05).
Prevalence of all respiratory symptoms was higher in MSWWs than in controls. After adjustment for confounding factors, the difference reached statistical significance (P < 0.05) for morning cough, cough on exertion and sore throat. Although this study had some limitations like small sample size, the results indicate a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and a greater decrease in lung function in MSWWs.

M. Athanasiou, G. Makrynos and G. Dounias, Respiratory health of municipal solid waste workers,
Occup Med (Lond) (2010) 60 (8): 618-623

Abstract

Background:  There is an increasing evidence that the incidence of work-related pulmonary problems is greater in waste collectors than in the general workforce.

Aims:  To evaluate the respiratory health of municipal solid waste workers (MSWWs).

Methods: One hundred and eighty-four municipal employees of Keratsini (104 MSWWs and 80 controls) participated in a cross-sectional study. All participants were asked to fill in a slightly modified version of the Medical Research Council questionnaire. Lung function was evaluated by spirometry.

Results: Spirometry revealed reduced mean forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (as a percentage of predicted values) in MSWWs compared with controls. After adjustment for smoking status, only the decline in FVC was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Prevalence of all respiratory symptoms was higher in MSWWs than in controls. After adjustment for confounding factors, the difference reached statistical significance (P < 0.05) for morning cough, cough on exertion and sore throat.

Conclusions:  The results of this cross-sectional study indicate a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and a greater decrease in lung function in MSWWs. A number of limitations such as the relatively small size of population and the ‘healthy worker’ effect should be taken into account.

Filed under: Asthma, Occupational exposure, ,

2 Responses

  1. I like to read this article, this talk about cancer.
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  2. A great achievement is done by Municipal workers. They save life of many other employees having almost same work. I am very much impressed by knowing about the results. The post include this news will generate awareness about this fact among many other people.

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