Welding Fume Exposure and Prevalence of Chronic Respiratory Symptoms among Micro and Small-Scale Enterprise Metal and office work in Akaki Kality, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A comparative cross-sectional study

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Addis Abeba University


Abstract Background: Exposure to welding fume can lead to different respiratory health disorders including lung cancer due to long term exposures. In Ethiopia there are no investigations conducted on the level of personal welding fume dust exposure and prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms. Objectives: This study aims at assessing chronic respiratory illness, associated factors, and the metal fume concentration among micro and small-scale enterprise metal workers and micro and small scale and office workers in Akaki Kality, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Methods: A Comparative cross-sectional study was conducted on a total of 226 metal workers and 217 office workers. Subjects were selected using stratified sampling methods and the establishments were selected by using systematic random sampling technique. The respiratory symptoms were collected using structured questionnaire adapted from American thoracic society and observational checklists were used to assess respiratory protective equipment, work place ventilation and welding sites. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS version 23. Multivariate analysis was conducted to check the association between dependent and independent variables with p=<0.2. Considering P <0.05 as a significant association and 95% CI. Result: The overall prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms among metal and office workers were 23.9% and 9.2% respectively. The Geometric mean personal dust exposure among welders were 5.98 mg/m 3 (±GSD=1.54). A significance association were seen between welding fume exposure and occurrence of chronic respiratory symptoms in lower educational status (AOR: 5.11, 95% CI: 1.35, 19.33) not utilizing respiratory protective equipment (AOR: 3.33, 95% CI: 1.52, 7.31), not getting a safety training (AOR: 2.41, 95% CI: 1.10, 5.28) welding machine maintenance (AOR: 1.87, 95% CI: 1.01, 3.59) and doing welding task indoor (AOR: 6.85. 95% CI: 2.36, 19.89). Conclusion: A significance association were seen between welding fume exposure and occurrence of chronic respiratory symptoms in educational status, usage of respiratory protective equipment, safety training, welding machine maintenance and welding site. Further investigation should be done to strength the finding.



Welding fume Exposure, Chronic Respiratory symptoms, Associated factors