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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-42
Pulmonary function in automobile repair workers


All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health, Urban Health Centre, Chetla, 19 B Chetla Hat Road, Kolkata - 700027, India

Correspondence Address:
O Chattopadhyay
All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health, Urban Health Centre, Chetla, 19 B Chetla Hat Road, Kolkata - 700027
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.53393

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Background : Automobile repair shop is a place where workers are exposed to harmful chemicals and toxic substances. Objective : To study the occurrence of obstructive and restrictive pulmonary impairment among automobile garage workers. Methods : A cross sectional study involving 151 automobile garage workers from 14 randomly selected garages of urban Kolkata. The study variables were Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second (FEV 1 ), Forced Vital Capacity (FVC), Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PE FR), age, smoking habit, duration of work, type of work, and respiratory symptoms. The study was analysed using Regression equations, and Chi-square test. Results : All the workers were male. Obstructive impairment was seen in 25.83% of the workers whereas restrictive impairment was seen in 21.19% of the workers. Mixed obstructive and restrictive impairment was seen in 10.6% of the workers. The frequency of obstructive impairment was higher in older workers. In the age group of less than 20 years, 13.6% of the workers had obstructive impairment while 42.86% of workers above 40 years of age had obstructive impairment. Obstructive impairment was more frequently observed in battery repair workers (58.33%) and spray painters (37.5%) while 16.67% of the body repair workers and 30.19% of the engine mechanics had obstructive impairment. Obstructive impairment was more frequently observed in smokers (53.1 %) as compared to ex-smokers (33.3%) and non-smokers (6.4%). Obstructive impairment was more frequently observed in workers who had been working for a longer duration. Conclusion: Nearly 36.4% of the automobile garage workers had some form of pulmonary function impairment; obstructive and/or restrictive. The use of personal protective equipment, worker education, and discontinuation of the use of paints containing toxic pigments are recommended.


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  2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
  Online since 15th September, 2007