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Respiratory symptoms and ventilatory function in confectionery workers.
Zuskin E; Mustajbegovic J; Schachter EN; Kern J
Occup Environ Med 1994 Jul; 51(7):435-439
Respiratory function was investigated in 288 workers employed in a confectionery facility in Zagreb, Croatia who were exposed to many substances used in the making of sweets and pastries. A control group included 96 workers employed as transport workers at the same facility. The workers were employed in processing various confectionery products such as biscuits, sweets, chocolate, chewing gum, candied fruits, and snack products. The workers were divided into five groups based on the exposures each encountered. Group 1 was exposed to aerosols of flour, sugar, starch, talc, and egg powder. Group 2 was exposed to vapors of ethyl-alcohol (64175) in preparing candied fruits. Group 3 was employed in the processing of nuts, almonds, cocoa, cacao, and chocolate. Group 4 processed butter, honey, aromatic oil, yeast, and different food colorings. Group 5 packed the confectionery products in a cold room. The workers occasionally rotated jobs in the factory. The prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms was highest in the workers exposed to flour, talc and starch dusts and to the vapors of alcohol. Chronic bronchitis was reported by 7% of the women and 21% of the men, and chest tightness was noted in 27% of the women and 66% of the men. A high prevalence of acute irritative symptoms during the workshift were noted in all groups of confectionery workers, particularly for cough, dyspnea, burning and dryness of the throat, and eye irritation. Statistically significant across shift reductions were noted in ventilatory capacity for all groups of workers. The authors conclude that some workers employed in confectionery facilities may develop acute and chronic respiratory symptoms associated with changes in lung function.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Food-processing-workers; Respiratory-system-disorders; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Lung-function; Pulmonary-function-tests; Foodstuff; Food-processing-industry; Occupational-exposure
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
Issue of Publication
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division