Hamzeh Al Zabadi
An-Najah National University, Palestine
Hamzeh Al Zabadi got a BSc in Pharmacy in 1999 and a MPH degree in Public Health in 2006. He has been awarded a PhD scholarship in Public Health from the French Foreign Ministry. Since August 2010, he is working as an Assistant Professor at An-Najah National University-School of Medicine and Health Sciences-Public Health and Community Medicine Department. Since the academic year 2011/2012 he is the coordinator of the Master program of Public Health at An-Najah University in the faculty of graduate studies.
Radiographers report many unexplained work related symptoms attributed to “darkroom disease symptoms” such as headache, skin rash, mouth sores, blurred vision, palpitation, and chemical taste. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of occupationally-related darkroom disease symptoms among male radiographers in the West Bank hospitals. A cross sectional study was conducted on a non-random purposive sample of male radiographers (study group) and nurses (control group) using a previously validated and standardized questionnaire. It was able to recruit 330 radiographers and 242 nurses. Data analysis showed that the majority of both groups aged between (36-43) years. Furthermore, the differences in the reported prevalence of symptoms among radiographers showed a statistically significant higher percentage for each reported symptom compared to nurses (P-values <0.001). In multivariate linear regression, staying more than 30 minutes in the darkroom per shift was associated with a significant increase in the mean number of reported symptoms (P-value <0.001). However, the availability of a ventilating machine in the darkroom showed a strong negative association with the mean number of reported symptoms (P-value <0.001). Study findings could help overcome the limitations usually encountered in such complex occupational exposure. However, trying to interpret our finding directly to chemicals exposure in the radiographers’ occupational setting should be done with caution due to the absence of active or passive monitoring for the suspected chemicals.