PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to assess the effect of Exposure to flour dust on respiratory symptoms and lung function of flour mill workers in Sohag Gavernorate and to estimate the additive effect of smoking on pulmonary function parameters.
METHODS: This study was carried out at flour mills in Sohag Governorate, south of Eygpt. Two hundried male workers with current exposure to flour dust and Two hundried male non-exposed to flour dust as a control group were interviewed and self designed study questionnaire was used were administered to them. and, the parameters of their pulmonary function were measured .
RESULTS: respiratory symptoms such as cough, expectoration, wheezing, and shortness of breath, were significantly (p < 0.0001) more common in exposed workers as compared to their unexposed counterparts. Furthermore significant (p < 0.001) decrements in the parameters of pulmonary function of exposed subjects were noted The additive effect of smoking on workers in flour mill was clearly noticed as there was a highly statistically significant decline of FEV1% predicted and FVC% predicted in smokers compared to non-smokers (p<0.0001). COPD, asthma and chronic bronchitis (ie, chronic cough with phlegm) were significantly (P < 0.0001) higher among flour mill-workers compared with control subjects. Statistically significant association between COPD, asthma, chronic bronchitis and age (P <0.02), smoking (P <0.002), duration of employment (P <0.0001),level of exposures (P < 0.0001). was found.
CONCLUSIONS: flour mill workers in Sohag Governorate, south of Eygpt, like grain workers elsewhere, were at an increased risk of developing pulmonary symptoms after adjusting for age, smoking habits and other confounders, a strong association exists between exposure to flour dust and the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and functional impairments of the lungs
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The result has implications for improved dust control measures in the grain industry in Egypt.
DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Hamdy Mahmoud
No Product/Research Disclosure Information