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Airway function and respiratory symptoms in sanitation workers.
Zuskin E; Mustajbegovic J; Schachter EN; Kern J; Pavicic D; Budak A
J Occup Environ Med 1996 May; 38(5):522-527
Acute and chronic respiratory health effects in sanitation workers were assessed. The study group included 81 male municipal sanitation workers (street cleaners and garbage collectors) in Zagreb, Croatia and 65 control workers in the food industry. Information on respiratory symptoms was obtained via questionnaire; other questions related to occupational history, smoking habits, and occupational asthma. Ventilatory capacity measurements were performed during working hours. The sanitation workers exhibited significantly higher prevalences of all chronic respiratory symptoms; those 40 years of age or older had higher prevalences of all chronic respiratory symptoms than did younger workers, and those employed for 10 years or longer had higher prevalences than controls. Acute symptoms that developed in the sanitation workers during the workshift included dryness of the nose and throat, throat and eye irritation, and headache. Lung function was depressed in the sanitation workers as compared to the controls; this difference became significant after 10 or more years of employment in the sanitation industry. The authors conclude that sanitation workers may develop acute and/or chronic respiratory symptoms accompanied by decreases in lung function; personal protective measures are recommended.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-system-disorders; Waste-disposal; Pulmonary-function; Humans; Clinical-symptoms
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
Page last reviewed: November 20, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division