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Epidemiology and Health 2018;e2018031.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2018031    [Accepted] Published online July 4, 2018.
Pulmonary function disorders and symptoms of respiratory disease associated with occupational exposure to inhalable wood dust, Iran
Masoud Neghab1  , Zeinab Jabari2  , Fatemeh Kargar Shouroki2 
1Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
2Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Correspondence  Zeinab Jabari ,Tel: +98(713) 7251001-9, Fax: +98(713)7256006 , Email: jabariz621@yahoo.com
Submitted: April 26, 2018  Accepted after revision: July 4, 2018
Possible adverse respiratory effects of airborne pollutants in the sawmills have not been thoroughly investigated in Iran. Additionally, the extent to which workers are exposed to this organic dust and its associated bioaerosols have not been quantified extensively. Likewise, predominant bacterial and fungal germs associated with wood dust have not been characterized. The present study was undertaken to address these issues.
One hundred male individuals with exposure to wood dust and 100 male unexposed subjects were investigated. A standardized respiratory symptom questionnaire was filled out for them and they underwent spirometry test. Additionally, airborne concentrations of respirable and inhalable dust particles as well as bacteria and fungi were measured.
The mean concentrations of inhalable and respirable dust particles, bacteria and fungi were found to be 2.44, 6.76 mg/m3, and 756.38 and 299.15 CFU/m3, respectively. Dominant Gram-negative bacteria in the sawmills included Pseudomonadacea family, klebsiella pneumonia and rhinoscleromatis spp, and dominant fungi consisted of Zygomycetes and transparent families. Respiratory symptoms were significantly more prevalent among exposed workers. Significant cross shift decrements were noted in some parameters of pulmonary function. Similarly, pre-shift spirometry results indicated that some parameters of pulmonary function were significantly lower in the exposed group.
Exposure to wood dust and its bioaerosols was associated with significant increases in the prevalence of respiratory symptoms as well as both acute partially reversible and chronic irreversible decrements in the lungs’ functional capacities. Additionally, characterized bioaerosols did not differ significantly with those isolated from other parts of the world.
Keywords: Wood dust; Respiratory symptoms; Pulmonary function tests
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