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J Occup Health year 2005 volume 47 number 5 page 371 - 377
Classification Original
Title Occupational Morbidities and their Association with Nutrition and Environmental Factors among Textile Workers of Desert Areas of Rajasthan, India
Author Madhu B. SINGH, Ranjana FOTEDAR and J. LAKSHMINARAYANA
Organization Desert Medicine Research Centre (ICMR), India
Keywords Occupational morbidities, Textile workers, Smoking, Desert, Environment
Correspondence M. B. Singh, Desert Medicine Research Center (ICMR), New Pali Road, Jodhpur-342005, India
(e-mail: mbsgh@yahoo.com)
Abstract Occupational Morbidities and their Association with Nutrition and Environmental Factors among Textile Workers of Desert Areas of Rajasthan, India: Madhu B. SINGH, et al. Desert Medicine Research Centre (ICMR), India-In Rajasthan 21,000 workers are engaged in hand processing textile industries (process gray/raw cotton cloth). They are exposed to hazards of the textile industries besides the harsh conditions of the desert which contributes to adverse effects on their health. To explore the occupational health problems of the desert textile workers and their association with nutrition and environmental factors, investigations were carried-out in two districts, Jodhpur and Pali. Data on occupational disease conditions, environmental factors, nutritional deficiency signs and anemia were collected for a total of 1,240 individuals out of which 845 were textile workers and 395 were comparative group workers of the same age groups. The main disease conditions, i.e. aches (19.4%), respiratory (12.1%) and fever (7.7%), were higher in textile workers than the comparative group. Dyeing group workers suffered the most (25.5%) from aches, significantly higher than the comparative group (11.6%), may be due to a higher percentage of severe anemia, besides physical labour. Printing and bleaching group workers suffered from respiratory problems (15.5%) almost twice as much as the comparative group, possibly due to exposure to fumes of acids and use of chemical dyes. Housing conditions, personal hygiene and education showed negative associations with disease conditions but positive associations with anemia. The study revealed that in the textile industry, disease conditions vary with the categorization of work. The findings suggest the need for implementation of safety measures according to the type of work in textile industries, besides extension of health and nutrition education and welfare programs.