Original Research Article

Year: 2015 | Month: 03 | Volume: 2 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 55-66

Prevalence of Respiratory Symptoms and Lung Function of Flour Mill Workers in Ilorin, North Central Nigeria

Abdulsalam Saliu Tosho1, Abdus-salam Ismail Adeshina2, Moshood Salawu1, Arinde James Tope1

1Department of Community Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.
2Directorate of Disease Control, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Alusa-Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Corresponding author: Abdulsalam Saliu Tosho

ABSTRACT

Flour mill workers are at increased risk of developing respiratory symptoms and reduced lung function indices due to exposure to dust in their working environment. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to assess the effects of flour dust on respiratory symptoms and lung function parameters in 101 flour mill workers and similar number of matched external controls using structured interview administered technique. Physical examinations were conducted; lung function indices measured and inspection of work-site environment was carried out. The comparisons of the arithmetic means were done using the student’s t test. Statistical significance was put at p<0.05. Respiratory symptoms were significantly higher in the flour mill workers, 49.5% than the controls, and 27.7%. A significant reduction in the overall mean values of FVC, FEV1, PEFR and MVV were observed in the flour mill workers. The mean concentrations of TSP were 6.20±0.07 mg/m3 and 4.25±0.03 mg/m3 for study and control groups respectively.  Exposure to flour dust causes increased work related respiratory symptoms and significant reduction in lung function parameters in flour mill workers. The study recommends periodic medical examination, continuous environmental monitoring and collaboration between regulatory agencies, health officials, mill management and flour mill workers.

Key words: Flour mill workers, flour dust, respiratory symptoms, lung function indices

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