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Introduction: Domestic waste collectors are potentially exposed to many occupational hazards which might result in health problems including respiratory illnesses. The degree of the problem might differ between develop and developing countries.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and status of lung functions among domestic waste collectors working in the Kota Bharu Municipal Council, Kelantan, Malaysia
Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out for two months period starting from September 2008 at Kota Bharu Municipal Council. Those ages between 18 to 56 years old and have at least one year working experience were included in the study. Data on respiratory symptoms were obtained using interview-guided questionnaire and a spirometer was used to determine lung function test.
Results: Hundred and ninety one male respondents were involved in the study. There were significant difference in the proportion of those who had respiratory symptoms between domestic waste collectors and office worker: morning cough (20%, 3%), morning phlegm (32.6%, 16.7%), and shortness of breath (42.1%, 27.1%). However, the recorded patterns of mean lung function parameters were almost similar in both study groups.
Conclusion: The domestic waste collectors showed higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms as compared to the control group. There was no significant difference of lung function measurements between the study groups.
Domestic waste collectors, respiratory symptoms, lung functions, developing country, Malaysia