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Association between exposure to fuel and respiratory health among fuel attendants in ndola, zambia.

Authors:T. Shonga, S.Siziya
Int J Biol Med Res. 2016; 7(2): 5559-5562  |  PDF File

Abstract

Aim: To determine association between exposure to fuel and respiratory health (lung function) among fuel attendants in Ndola, Zambia. Materials and Methods: a cross-sectional comparative study was done with the exposed group being the fuel attendants and the non-exposed group being medical students. A questionnaire was administered, weight and height measured and lastly spirometry done on each person who consented.Results:A Total of 69 exposed persons and 121 non-exposed persons participated in the survey.Overall, 120 (63.2%) participants were males and 43.7% were aged <25 years. Overall, 7.4% of respondents smoked and 42.1% drunk alcohol. Exposed participants tended to have lower BMI than non-exposed participants (p= 0.004). The prevalence of lung function impairment among the exposed was 29.0% and 7.4% among the non-exposed (p<0.001). There was a significant reduction in the lung function parameters FEV1, FVC and PEF among the exposed group compared with the non-exposed group (p values 0.004, 0.010 and 0.031, respectively). Adjusting for BMI, exposed participants were 2.18 (95% CI, 1.39, 3.42) times more likely to have lung function impairment compared to the unexposed group. Conclusion:Fuel attendants were at risk of lung function impairment. Thus it is pertinent that they be provided with masks to protect them from constantly inhaling the fuel fumes and also medical check-ups be provided before and during their period of work.