Cement dust exposure and Pulmonary function tests in construction site workers
Background: Construction site workers are frequently exposed to and inhale dust and cement particles that cause a variety of respiratory disorders and impaired lung function tests. These particles once inhaled, lodge in the respiratory tract and even gain entry into the lung tissue depending on the size of the particle. These particles produce a series of inflammatory reactions in the mucus membrane causing severe symptoms. Lung function tests are performed to detect any change in the parameters. Objective: The present study was undertaken to see the degree of decline of lung function tests among workers at construction sites and compare with those working in cleaner environments. Materials and Methods: 160 individuals were inducted into the study of which 60 were construction site workers and 100 were normal healthy individuals working in cleaner environments. Lung function tests using Spiro Win Spirometer was formed to detect any change in lung function parameters. Forced vital capacity, Forced expiratory volume in one sec and maximum voluntary ventilation were assessed using spirometer. Results: The BMI of construction site workers was less when compared to the subjects working in cleaner environments. Performance on Pulmonary function tests was poor in construction site workers compared to healthy controls. When age, sex and BMI were adjusted for the 2 groups, workers group shows a decrease in lung function tests though not statistically significant (p>0.05). Conclusion: Inhaled dust particles cause reactions in mucus membrane, blocking the respiratory tracts leading to poor performance on lung function tests. Conclusion: Construction site workers should undergo pulmonary function tests from time to time to detect any changes so as to provide early treatment interventions.
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