Respiratory function and immunological reactions in jute workers.
Zuskin-E; Kanceljak-B; Mustajbegovic-J; Schachter-EN; Kern-J
Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1994 May; 66(1):43-48
Respiratory function and immunological reactions of workers at a jute textile mill in Croatia were examined. The first study was in 1970, and included 70 women (90% of the workers) of mean age 23 years (yr). A followup study was conducted 19yr later, at which stage 19 workers still remained. Control groups of 40 and 30 female office workers were selected for the first and followup studies, respectively. Respiratory symptoms recorded included chronic cough or phlegm, chronic bronchitis, dyspnea, occupational asthma, and byssinosis. Ventilatory capacity measurements, and skin prick tests with jute, sisal, and cotton dust allergens were conducted. Serum immunoglobulin-E (IgE) levels were measured. Airborne dust was sampled during the 8 hour work shifts. Results showed that the prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms was consistently higher in jute workers than in controls, but significant differences were only seen for dyspnea. An increase in prevalence of all respiratory symptoms was recorded for the followup period. Frequent acute symptoms were also recorded. Highest prevalences were for chest tightness, eye irritation, and headache (73.7%), followed by cough, dyspnea, dry throat (63.2%), throat irritation (57.9%), secretion or dryness of throat (57.9%), and nose bleeding (26.3). Acute reductions in forced vital capacity (-2.2%) and 1 second forced expiratory volume (-3.6%) were noted. Immunological tests showed positive skin reactions to jute allergen in only 5.3%, but increased IgE levels were found in 10.5%. One case of occupational asthma was recorded. Mean airborne dust levels were 3.224mg/m3 and 3.143mg/m3 at initial and followup study. These were not higher than allowable dust levels in Croatia. The authors conclude that exposure to jute dust can lead to the development of acute and/or chronic respiratory symptoms.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Jute-dust; Allergies; Bronchial-asthma; Immunologic-disorders; Lung-irritants; Occupational-diseases; Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-hypersensitivity; Textiles-industry
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York