Assessment of pulmonary function of industrial workers in four different industries of Gujarat

Chinmay Jani, Kushboo Jain, Arpita Joshi, D. V. Bala, Harshal Jadav, Divyesh Jetpariya


Background: Industrial workers working in various industries have exposure to different kind of pollutants. Exposure to various types of dust causes pneumoconiosis, a rising cause of impairment in factory workers. This study sought to analyze the effect of quantity and quality of dust variety and the duration of exposure on the pulmonary function test of the workers.

Methods: Pulmonary function testing (PFT) was done using PC based spirometer in 4 different industries of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar cities. The PFT values obtained were compared with normal values and the number of workers with impaired PFT was found. Associations were observed between types and amount of exposure with pulmonary impairment.

Results: Out of 909 workers, 408 (44.88%) had pulmonary impairment of which 330 (80.88%) presented with restrictive lung function. It was found that maximum restrictive lung functions were found in workers exposed to metallic dust (51.4%) followed by metallic gases (43.8%). Whereas office administrative workers not having any direct exposure were having less impairment (p<0.005). Also, with increased duration of work in the industry, pulmonary impairment was also increasing. (χ2=119.89; p<0.005).

Conclusions: Exposure to various types of dust impairs lung functions. The severity increases with the increase in the amount and duration of exposure. Proper protective measures should be taken by the workers and regular check-ups should be done to know any pulmonary impairment. The workers with impairment should be removed from exposure and relocated.


Industrial workers, Pneumoconiosis, PFT

Full Text:



Implementation of the WHO Global Strategy for Occupational Health for All. Plan of action: covering the specific period 1996-2001. Part I. Int J Occupational Med Environ Health. 1997;10(2):113-39.

Leigh J, Macaskill P, Kuosma E, Mandryk J. Global burden of disease and injury due to occupational factors. Epidemiology. 1999;10(5):626-31.

Kumar V, Abbas Abul K, Fausto N. Robbins and Cotran pathologic basis of disease. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2005.

Morgan WK. Industrial bronchitis. Br J Industrial Med. 1978;35(4):285-91.

Standardization of Spirometry, 1994 Update. American Thoracic Society. Am J Resp Critical Care Med. 1995;152(3):1107-36.

Rassler B, Waurick S, Meinecke CD. The prognostic relevance of preoperative pulmonary function tests. Der Anaesthesist. 1994;43(2):73-81.

Weston A. Work-related lung diseases. IARC scientific publications. 2011;(163):387-405.

Cullinan P. Occupation and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Br Med Bulletin. 2012;104:143-61.

Antonini JM, Taylor MD, Zimmer AT, Roberts JR. Pulmonary responses to welding fumes: role of metal constituents. J Toxicol Environ Health Part A. 2004;67(3):233-49.

Meo SA, Al-Khlaiwi T. Health hazards of welding fumes. Saudi Med J. 2003;24(11):1176-82.

Wolf C, Pirich C, Valic E, Waldhoer T. Pulmonary function and symptoms of welders. Int Arch Occupat Environ Health. 1997;69(5):350-3.

Sharifian SA, Loukzadeh Z, Shojaoddiny-Ardekani A, Aminian O. Pulmonary adverse effects of welding fume in automobile assembly welders. Acta Medica Iranica. 2011;49(2):98-102.

Sulotto F, Romano C, Piolatto G, Chiesa A, Capellaro E, Discalzi G. Respiratory impairment and metal exposure in a group of 68 industrial welders. La Medicina del lavoro. 1989;80(3):201-10.

Osman E, Pala K. Occupational exposure to wood dust and health effects on the respiratory system in a minor industrial estate in Bursa, Turkey. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2009;22(1):43-50.

Boskabady MH, Rezaiyan MK, Navabi I, Shafiei S, Arab SS. Work-related respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function tests in northeast iranian (the city of Mashhad) carpenters. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2010;65(10):1003-7.

Polatli M, Tuna HT, Yenisey C, Serter M, Cildag O. Lung function and IFN-gamma levels in the sera of silica-exposed workers. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2008;28(5):311-6.

Chattopadhyay BP, Gangopadhyay PK, Bandopadhyay TS, Alam J. Comparison of pulmonary function test abnormalities between stone crushing dust exposed and nonexposed agricultural workers. Environ Health Prevent Med. 2006;11(4):191-8.

Caciari T, Ciarrocca M, Sinibaldi F, Capozzella A, De Sio S, Rosati MV, et al. Coal plant: risk, disease and prevention with on environmental impact. La Clinica Terapeutica. 2013;164(2):139-46.

Goren AI, Bruderman I. Effects of occupational exposure and smoking on respiratory symptomatology and PFT in healthy panelists and COPD patients. Eur J Epidemiol. 1989;5(1):58-64.

Pala K, Turkkan A, Gercek H, Osman E, Aytekin H. Evaluation of respiratory functions of residents around the Orhaneli thermal power plant in Turkey. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2012;24(1):48-57.

Karavus M, Aker A, Cebeci D, Tasdemir M, Bayram N, Cali S. Respiratory complaints and spirometric parameters of the villagers living around the Seyitomer coal-fired thermal power plant in Kutahya, Turkey. Ecotoxicol Environ Safety. 2002;52(3):214-20.

Chattopadhyay BP, Saiyed HN, Roychowdhury A, Alam J. Pulmonary function in aluminium smelter and surrounding community--a case study. J Environ Sci Eng. 2007;49(4):309-16.

Boskabady MH, Farhang L, Mahmodinia M, Boskabady M, Heydari GR. Comparison of pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms in water pipe and cigarette smokers. Respirology. 2012;17(6):950-6.

Boskabady MH, Mahmoodinia M, Boskabady M, Heydari GR. Pulmonary function tests and respiratory symptoms among smokers in the city of Mashhad (north east of Iran). Revista Portuguesa De Pneumologia. 2011;17(5):199-204.

Boskabady MH, Farhang L, Mahmoodinia M, Boskabady M, Heydari GR. Prevalence of water pipe smoking in the city of Mashhad (North East of Iran) and its effect on respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function tests. Lung India. 2014;31(3):237-43.

Joseph S, Pascale S, Georges K, Mirna W. Cigarette and waterpipe smoking decrease respiratory quality of life in adults: results from a national cross-sectional study. Pulm Med. 2012;2012:868294.