Respiratory function in shoe manufacturing workers.
Zuskin E; Mustajbegovic J; Schachter EN; Doko-Jelinic J; Bradic V
Am J Ind Med 1997 Jan; 31(1):50-55
An investigation was undertaken to determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and ventilatory capacity changes in shoe manufacturing workers in Croatia. Chronic respiratory symptoms and ventilatory capacity were investigated in 376 female workers in Zagreb, Croatia who performed leather preparation, gluing, and fur attachment tasks, and who were exposed to variable levels of solvents and organic dusts. Each subject completed a questionnaire on respiratory symptoms, occupational asthma, smoking habit, and occupational history. Ventilatory capacity was determined by measuring maximum expiratory flow volume curves. Air sampling of the workplace was performed to identify and quantify airborne contaminants. Results were subjected to paired t-test, Chi-square test, and Fisher's exact test. The results showed significantly higher prevalences of all symptoms in exposed compared with control workers. Chest tightness (44.7%), dyspnea (42.6%), and rhinitis (46.3%) were the leading symptoms noted in the workers. Occupational asthma (14.1%) was also reported in a significantly large number of workers. Ventilatory capacity was significantly reduced in shoe manufacturing workers, as well. Lung function abnormalities increased with length of employment. Environmental levels of benzene (71432), organic dust, and synthetic fiber were found to exceed maximum allowable concentrations. The results suggest that occupational exposure in the leather shoe manufacturing industry is associated with the development of acute and chronic respiratory symptoms. The authors conclude that environmental monitoring and medical surveillance are needed to help reduce the problem.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Shoe-manufacturing; Occupational-exposure; Airborne-dusts; Airborne-fibers; Lung-function; Respiratory-system-disorders; Leather-workers
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York