Respiratory symptoms and ventilatory function in sisal dust exposure
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A study of respiratory symptoms and ventilatory function was made in a group of 51 non-smoking female workers exposed to sisal dust and 51 control subjects matched in age and height. A higher prevalence of persistent cough (17.6%), persistent phlegm (13.7%), chronic bronchitis (9.8%) and nasal catarrh (19.6%) was found in sisal workers than in controls (5.9, 5.9, 5.9 and 0%, respectively). Not a single case of byssinosis was found in the workers surveyed.
In sisal workers, FEV1.0, FVC and PEF significantly decreased over the work shift (P<0.01). Control workers did not show significant acute changes in ventilatory function over the shift. Inhalation of Alupent (orciprenaline) before the shift significantly diminished acute reductions in ventilatory capacity during the shift. The results suggest that sisal dust does not cause byssinosis but affects ventilatory function of the exposed workers.
KeywordsBronchitis Respiratory Symptom Cough Chronic Bronchitis Work Shift
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