alexa Dust Exposure and Respiratory Symptoms among Cement Factory Workers in the United Arab Emirates
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Pollution Effects & Control

Author(s): Hafiz Omer AHMED, Abdelridha A ABDULLAH

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This study was conducted in a cement factory in the United Arab Emirates to assess cement dust exposure and its relationship to respiratory symptoms among workers. A total of 149 exposed and 78 unexposed workers participated in this cross-sectional study. Information on demographic and respiratory symptoms was collected by questionnaire. Personal total dust levels were determined by the gravimetric method. Concentration of the total dust ranged between 4.20 mg/m3 in the crushers and 15.20 mg/m3 in the packaging areas, and exceeded the exposure limit in the packaging and raw mill areas. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms was higher among the exposed workers, but the difference from that of unexposed workers was statistically significant only for cough (19.5%; OR=4.5; 95%CI=1.5–13.2), and phlegm (14.8%; OR=13.3; 95%CI=1.8–100.9). Cough and phlegm were found to be related to exposure to dust, cumulative dust and smoking habit, while chronic bronchitis was related to smoking habit. The few factory workers (19.5%) who used masks all the time had a lower prevalence rate of respiratory symptoms than those not using them. High dust level was the only variable that influenced the workers to use the mask all the time. It is recommended that control measures be adopted to reduce the dust and workers should be encouraged to use respiratory protection devices during their working time.

This article was published in Industrial Health and referenced in Journal of Pollution Effects & Control

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