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J Occup Health year 1999 volume 41 number 4 page 225 - 231
Classification Original
Title Inquiry into Occurrence of Byssinosis in Jute Mill Workers
Organization 1Regional Occupational Health Center E, Indian Council of Medical Research,
2National Institute of Occupational Health, Indian Council of Medical Research
Keywords Jute, Byssinosis, Pulmonary function test, Chronic obstructive lung disease, Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1.0)
Abstract Inquiry into Occurrence of Byssinosis in Jute Mill Workers: B.P. CHATTOPADHYAY, et al. Regional Occupational Health Center E-An epidemiological study was carried out on 196 jute mill workers to inquire into the occurrence of byssinosis and to study the pattern of pre-shift and post-shift changes in ventilatory functions during the working week. The respiratory symptoms were recorded in a questionnaire based on the definition of byssinosis. The pulmonary function tests (PFT) were done by means of a dry wedge bellows spirometer, Vitalograph. On each day, the PFT of the workers were done twice, i.e., half an hour before the beginning of work (pre-shift record), and after five hours of work (post-shift record) on six consecutive working days. In the present communication mainly the PFT results for the first working day are reported. The acute and chronic changes in ventilatory function were defined as recommended by the World Health Organization. Typical symptoms of byssinosis such as chest tightness and difficulty in breathing on the first day of the week (Monday) after a weekend rest were found in 18 (9.18%) workers. Another group of 28 (14.28%) workers complained of chest tightness and breathlessness after work on days other than Monday. This group of workers was referred to as having "atypical byssinosis". A significant fall (post shift fall in FEV1, 5% and more than the pre shift FEV1.0 value) was observed in 70 (35.71%) workers and chronic changes in FEV1.0 in 62 (31.63%) workers, respectively. It is concluded that the jute mill workers suffer from a specific respiratory morbidity which resemble the byssinosis observed in cotton, flax and hemp workers.