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Respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function in a group of women weavers in South Africa
Published in Taylor and Francis Ltd.
1997
PMID: 9239435
Volume: 24
   
Issue: 4
Pages: 299 - 306
Abstract
Respiratory symptoms and ventilatory capacity were studied in 97 women carpet weavers in a hand-made carpet weaving industry in Umtata, Transkei, South Africa. The controls were from a bottling plant in the same city. Both groups were Black Africans from the Xhosa-speaking population. The population we studied were non-smokers and there was no significant difference in age, race or height between the groups. The exposed weavers had significantly lower forced expiratory indices than the control group. Mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), forced mid-expiratory flow (FEF 25-75%), forced expiratory flow between 200 ml and 1200 ml of forced vital capacity (FEF 200-1200), and peak expiratory flow (PEF) were: 26.0%, 39.0%, 36.4% and 28.5% lower respectively in the exposed group compared with the controls. Mean forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory ratio (FEV1/FVC × 100) were 22.0% and 6.6% lower respectively in the exposed group compared with the controls. The percentage predicted (%pred) values of FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC ratio, FEF 25-75%, FEF 200-1200, and PEF in the exposed group were 82.9%, 77.1%, 95.6%, 64.6%, 72.2%, and 82.8%, respectively. The prevalence of FEV1/FVC ratio less than 70% in the exposed group was 37.2%, while in the controls it was 12%. The exposed group reported a significantly higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms compared to the control. The prevalence of nasal symptoms and cough was 62.8% and 58.1%, respectively in the weavers. Weavers who reported cough, breathlessness, and wheezing had significantly (p < 0.01) lower pulmonary function than those who did not report these symptoms. The present study demonstrates that the continual exposure to dust in weavers in this industry is associated with significantly lower pulmonary function, higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms, and weavers show signs of airway obstruction compared to workers not exposed to this type of dust. Women in the weaving industry have a significant occupationally related respiratory impairment.
About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetAnnals of Human Biology
PublisherData powered by TypesetTaylor and Francis Ltd.
ISSN03014460