Assessment of byssinosis and other respiratory symptoms among production workers in Akaki textile factory, Akakikality subcity, Addis Ababa, 2006/ 2007

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Addis Ababa University


Back ground: textile cotton workers are at risk for occupational lung disease, including byssinosis and chronic bronchitis. Byssinosis is a respiratory disease primarily associated with exposure to cotton dust. Respiratory symptoms and impairments in pulmonary function are the major consequences of occupational exposures. Objective: the aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and byssinosis among production workers in cotton mills of Akaki textile factory, Addis Ababa 2006/2007. Methodology: a cross-sectional study in which by information on demographic characteristics, cigarette smoking, occupational history and respiratory symptoms, were collected from February to April 2006. Four hundred seventeen production workers were interviewed with modified American Thoracic Society standard respiratory symptoms questionnaires. FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC were measured using portable medical spirometer. Dust concentration in the work environment was measured by the Data RAM 4 real time measurement of area sampling. The data entry was performed using EPI INFO version 6.04d and exported to SPSS version 13.0 for analysis. The adjusted odds ratio was calculated for each respiratory symptoms and byssinosis. Multivariate Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the predictors of respiratory symptoms and byssinosis and one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) used to compare means of pulmonary function tests. Result: The highest prevalence of respiratory symptoms (cough 77.0%, phlegm 62.0%, chest tightness 46.0% and dyspnea 62.0%) were found in the carding section .Workers in carding sections were more likely to contract phlegm 13 times and chest tightness 8 times higher compared to others sections. Workers in blowing sections were seven times more likely to have dyspnea than other sections. The over all prevalence of chronic bronchitis was 23.0% and the highest found in carding section (69.2%) and the lowest in weaving section (16.2%). Workers in carding section were 13 times more likely to have chronic bronchitis compared to other sections (OR=13.4, 95% CI 3.43-52.6). The prevalence of byssinosis was 38.0%. The highest found in the carding (84.6%), drawing (72.2%) and ring frame (63.0%) sections. Workers in the blowing and carding areas were exposed to the high levels of cotton dust with mean dust levels of 32.2 mg/ m3 and 8.0 mg/ m3 respectively. vii About 11.0% of byssinotics developed FEV1 severe chronic changes. Of the byssinotic workers, 32% to 45% showed slight to moderate chronic impairment and 52.0% to 54.8% had no chronic impairment. This study provided important evidence indicating the strong relationship between the high prevalence of byssinosis and other respiratory impairments on exposure to cotton dust. The results also emphasize the importance of applying a pulmonary function test to detect early exposure effects .In view of the above findings, preventive measures like controlling dust, using face masks, and other measures are of supreme importance in minimizing the prevalence of byssinosis and other respiratory disorders in textile manufacturing.



Assessment of byssinosis and other respiratory symptoms