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Respiratory function in vineyard and orchard workers.
Zuskin-E; Mustajbegovic-J; Schachter-EN; Kern-J; Pavicic-D
Am J Ind Med 1997 Feb; 31(2):250-255
The prevalence of respiratory symptoms and lung function changes were studied in vineyard and orchard workers in Croatia. The subjects were 174 men, each involved with both vine and orchard tasks, with a mean age of 38 years and a mean duration of employment of 14 years. The majority (53%) of the subjects smoked 20 cigarettes daily. Chlorinated hydrocarbons, organophosphates, sulfur (7704349), and copper (7440508) were used by the workers for spraying vines. Controls were 115 nonexposed workers from the food industry. Respiratory symptoms were recorded using the Medical Research Council questionnaire, and ventilatory capacity measurements were performed to determine the maximum expiratory flow volume via spirometer, the forced vital capacity (FVC), and the 1 second forced expiratory volume (FEV). Statistical analysis via the paired t-test revealed that the prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms was higher in exposed men compared to controls, and were statistically different for dyspnea and chest tightness, as well as chronic cough and chronic phlegm. There were two cases of occupational asthma in the study group. Nonsmokers employed for more than 10 years had significantly lower prevalences of chronic cough, phlegm, and bronchitis than smokers with the same duration of employment. Smokers employed for more than 10 years had significantly higher prevalences of chronic cough, phlegm, bronchitis, and chest tightness than smokers with shorter exposures. Significantly reduced observed volumes (compared with predicted) were found for smoking and nonsmoking workers for FVC. For FEV, the differences were significant only in smokers and nonsmokers employed for more than 10 years. For all 174 men, ventilatory capacity values were less than 70% of the predicted values, with FVC at 5.2% and FEV at 6.3%. The authors conclude that vineyard and orchard work, along with cigarette smoking, may, in part, affect the development of acute and chronic respiratory symptoms and lung function changes in workers.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Agricultural-workers; Men; Agricultural-industry; Cigarette-smoking; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Respiratory-irritants; Chlorinated-hydrocarbon-pesticides; Organo-phosphorus-pesticides
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division