18 December 2013 : Original article
Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:1176-1182
BACKGROUND: Occupational exposure to cotton dust causes several diseases affecting the lungs, but only limited information is available on effects of long-term exposure. In this study, we aimed to evaluate longitudinal changes in selected parameters of pulmonary function in textile workers.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This prospective cohort study began with 196 textile workers in 2006 and was completed in 2011 with 49 workers. We used standardized tests for pulmonary function on participants on the first day of the workweek in June of 2006 and 2011. Environmental samples of cotton dust were gathered with a vertical elutriator. Loss of pulmonary function was assessed based on gender and smoking status.
RESULTS: The mean number of years participants worked in the textile factory was 7.61±1.83 years, and the mean age was 35.3+5.8 years. The annual FEV1 loss of all workers was 53.2 ml, giving a ratio of annual FEV1 loss to baseline FEV1 of 1.4%. Pulmonary function parameters of all participants in 2011 were significantly lower than those in 2006 (for all, p<0.05). In both surveys, pulmonary function in current smokers was lower, but this difference was not significant (p>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the first data on pulmonary functional loss in Turkish textile workers and supports the findings of other cohort studies that workers with long-term exposure to cotton dust may lose some pulmonary function. The ratio of annual FEV1 loss to baseline FEV1 appears to be a more accurate and comparable method than annual FEV1 loss for evaluating pulmonary functional loss.
Keywords: Cotton Fiber, Cohort Studies, Adult, Follow-Up Studies, Forced Expiratory Volume - physiology, Occupational Exposure - adverse effects, Prospective Studies, Respiratory Insufficiency - physiopathology, Textile Industry, Turkey
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