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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 757-761

Respiratory and auditory health disorders among workers in a plastic factory (industrial zone, Queisna City, Menoufia Governorate)


Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Asmaa A Ahmed
Menoufia, 32511
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.198804

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Objective The aim of the study was to investigate auditory and respiratory health disorders among Egyptian workers in a plastic industry as well as assess the workplace environment in the same factory. Background The common health hazards associated with plastic manufacturing processes include noise, and exposure to respirable airborne particulates, especially polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and styrene, that lead to occupationally induced hearing loss and chronic effects such as decreased pulmonary function and lung disease. Participants and methods A cross-sectional comparative study was carried out in 180 workers in a plastic factory in Queisna City, Menoufia Governorate, Egypt, and in 60 nonoccupationally exposed individuals, who served as the control group. An environmental study of dust, fumes, and noise levels was carried out. Spirometric measurements were taken and air conduction audiometric examination was performed. Results The mean values of PVC, styrene concentrations, and noise levels are higher than the national and international permissible levels. Plastic factory workers had a highly significant prevalence of chest and auditory manifestations as well as deteriorated spirometric measurements and abnormal audiometric findings. Conclusion Exposure to a high level of PVC, styrene, and noise is implicated in the increase in frequency of chest manifestations, early spirometric changes, and occupationally induced hearing loss. Use of an automated plastic grinding machine to decrease the exposure to dust as well as use of good-quality personal protective equipment, especially masks and ear mufflers, is recommended.


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