The aim of this study was to determine the association between habit of using respirator and respiratory symptoms, lung functions and chest x-ray due to cement dust exposure. A cross sectional study with stratified random sampling was performed in 182 workers. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was collected to record demographic data, habit of using respirator N95 and smoking habit. Current respirable dust exposure levels were collected using personal dust sampler (PDS). CXR were assessed according to the ILO system. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms, lung function impairment and abnormalities of CXR were 9.9%, 30.8% and 4.9%, respectively. The mean level of respirable dust was 0.42 mg/m3 (PEL 3 mg/m3). There was no association between habit of using respirator and and abnormalities of CXR due to cement dust exposure. A bad habit of using respirator group had lower lung function was found in 34.5% workers than 27.6% in a good habit of using respirator group, but there was no significant differentiation. Duration of working had significant association with lung function impairment (PR 1.07, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.12) after adjustment for education level, working area, age and respirator use. Smoking habit had significant association with abnormalities of CXR (PR 11.7, 95%CI 1.06 to 128.7) after adjustment for age, duration of working, BMI and respirator use. It was concluded that adverse respiratory health effects observed among cement workers could not be explained by habit of using respirator, age, BMI, exposure to cement dust, and were probably caused by duration of working and smoking habit with mean levels of respirable dust exposure below PEL. However, correct respirator use still has a major contribution to protect workers from the hazard of dust exposure in the future.
|Journal||Journal of the Indonesian Medical Association|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2007|