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Pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms among petrol station workers in debre tabor town, northwest ethiopia, 2023

Authors:Deribew Abebaw Abuhay
Int J Biol Med Res. 2024; 15(1): 7724-7730  |  PDF File


Introduction: Petrol station workers are prone to pulmonary function impairment and respiratory symptoms acquired during filling fuels and to the gases from vehicular exhaust. Decreased pulmonary function parameters and abnormal respiratory symptoms such as cough, wheezing, and breathlessness were reported among petrol station workers. Objective: The study was aimed to assess pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms; and identify associated factors among petrol station workers in Debre Tabor town. Methods and Materials: A comparative cross-sectional study design was conducted among 66 petrol station workers and 66 Debre Tabor University workers (controls) between March and May, 2023. Data on socio-demographics, occupational history, utilization of personal protective equipment and respiratory symptoms were collected using an interviewer- administered questionnaire. A digital Spirometer (Model Contec SP10) was used to assess pulmonary function impairments. An independent sample t-test was used to compare spirometer results of the exposed and controls. Level of significance was set at p <0.05. Results: From petrol station workers, the mean± SD of Forced Vital Capacity (FVC), Forced Expiratory Volume in the first second (FEV1), FEV1/FVC%, Forced Mid-Expiratory Flow (FEF25-75%) and Forced Expiratory Flow Rate (FEFR) were 3.72±0.64, 3.14±0.53, 81.16±10.44, 3.85±0.97 and 6.87±1.53 respectively. There was a significant decrease in these pulmonary function test scores as compared with controls. Respiratory symptoms such as cough, phlegm, wheezing and shortness of breath were developed in 41.4%, 26.7%, 30.4% and 16.7% petrol station study participants respectively. Exposure to petrol fumes for more than 10 years was 3.18 times (AOR= 3.18; 95%CI=1.62- 9.73) more prone to develop lung function impairment compared with those worked for <5 years. Conclusion: Exposure to petrol fumes causes a significant reduction in pulmonary function among petrol station workers. Respiratory symptoms were higher among petrol station study participants compared with the controls.