Assessing Personal Dust Exposure and Chronic Respiratory Health Symptoms among Street Sweepers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2017/18

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Addis Ababa Universty


Background: Street sweeping dust is the determinant of the occurrence of respiratory symptoms among street sweepers who do not use the appropriate personal protective equipment. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess personal street dust exposure, prevalence and associated factors of chronic respiratory health symptoms among street sweepers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Methods and materials: A cross-sectional study was conducted among a sample of 570 randomly selected street sweepers in Addis Ababa in 4 selected sub-cities using an American Thoracic Society respiratory symptoms questionnaire with a few modifications from March 17-May 13, 2018. Epi-Info v.7.2 and SPSS v.21 were used for data entry and analysis, respectively. Descriptive statistics were used, and data were presented using tables and figures. A binary logistic regression model was used to determine the odds ratio of chronic respiratory health symptoms for each predictor. A total of 50 personal dust measurements among 25 randomly selected street sweepers were done from the selected sub-cities by fixing dust samplers around the breathing zone. Gravimetric analysis of filters was done before and after dust sampling using a standard micro-balance. The dust level was described and compared with the threshold limit value of American conference of governmental industrial hygienist recommendation (10 mg/m3). Results: In this study, the prevalence of chronic respiratory health symptoms among street sweepers was 70.3% with prevalence of a cough (28.3%), phlegm (24.7%), wheezing (18.0%), breathlessness (44.9%), nose irritation (28.8%), and sneezing (37.1%). None of the participants used respiratory protective devices, while the wearing of nose/mouth mask was reported 11.5%. Chronic respiratory health symptoms among street sweepers were significantly associated with age (AOR=2.29, 95% CI; 1.21-4.34), working hours per day (AOR=1.91, 95% CI; 1.21-3.02) and wear of nose/mouth mask (AOR=0.42, 95% CI; 0.24-0.73). The GM (±GSD) dust exposure level (n=50) of the street sweepers was 10.14 (±1.43) mg/m3. This exceeded the threshold limit value of American conference of governmental industrial hygienist recommendation (10 mg/m3). Conclusion and recommendations: Chronic respiratory health symptom was highly prevalent among the street sweepers. The street sweepers were exposed to street dust level above the recommended occupational exposure level. Addis Ababa city sanitation administration agency should provide adequate and high-quality respirator devices and watering the street surface before sweeping is highly recommended. Further studies using strong study design in comprehensive streets of Addis Ababa are highly recommended.



respiratory symptoms,Chronic Respiratory Health Symptoms