Assessment of prevalence of chronic Respiratory Symptoms and lung function among fuel station workers in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

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Addis Abeba University


Background: Fuel station workers are continuously exposed to organic and inorganic chemicals present in the petrol and diesel fuel. Occupational exposure of petroleum product and its exhaust are causing significant health damage to the airways and the lung tissue. Respiratory health study among exposed fuel station workers is not available in Ethiopia. Objective: To assess prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms and associated factors and determining the lung function status among fuel station and security service giving agency workers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Methods: Comparative cross-sectional study was conducted from February–April 2019. A total of 394 workers from fuel station and security service giving agency were interviewed using standard questionnaire to assess chronic respiratory symptoms. Spirometer test was performed for 100 workers. Four companies; National Oil Ethiopia, Total Ethiopia, Libiya Oil Ethiopia and Yetebaberut were identified to select study unit. The sample size of the study proportionally distributed to each of the company’s based on their number of workers they had at the time of the data collection. Individual gas stations were selected randomly by each stratum of Oil Company. All workers, from the selected station, those fulfilled the inclusion criteria were included in the study population. For the comparison group; one security service giving agency was selected and study participant was selected by using systematic random sampling from the pay roll list. Data was entered using Epi info version 7.2. Data cleaning and analysis was performed by using SPSS version 23. Result The mean age of fuel station and security service giving agency workers were 34.47±8.2 and 32.98 ±9.94 respectively. Fuel station workers had significantly higher prevalence rate of chronic respiratory symptoms than security service giving agency workers (48.7%; PR= 2.1, 95 % CI, 1.43-3.1). Chronic respiratory symptoms among study participant were associated significantly with past exposure to dust and petrol vapour (AOR= 2.4, 95 % CI = 1.24-4.7), history of past respiratory illness (AOR = 9.54, 95 % CI, 3.91-23.28) and passive smoking (AOR = 4.21, 95 %CI, 1.19-14.86). Significant reduction in the lung function parameter value of FEV1 and FVC were observed among fuel station workers compared to security service giving agency workers. Conclusion and recommendation: prevalence of chronic respiratory symptom among fuel station workers was higher when compared with security service giving agency x workers. Past exposure to dust and petrol vapour, past respiratory illness and passive smoking significantly associated with development of at least one chronic respiratory symptom. Lung function parameters; forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1) also decrease significantly among fuel station workers relative to comparative group. The results suggest that there is need to improve health status and reduce the exposure level of the workers.



Respiratory Symptoms , lung function