EFFECT OF BITUMEN FUMES ON THE FEV1 AND FVC OF LUNG FUNCTION TEST AND PREVALENCE OF MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDER AMONG THE ROAD CONSTRUCTION WORKERS
Objectives: The present study was undertaken to see the changes of pulmonary function along with the posture adopted by road construction workers to analyze the causations of discomfort feelings related with those posture. Workers exposed to emissions from hot bitumen can sometimes experience irritation to the eyes, nose and respiratory tract, headaches, dizziness or nausea
Methods: After selection of site, 22 workers mean age (28.1 Â± 2.35 yr.) were randomly selected. All of them had a minimum working experience 2-5 years in their present occupation. The height, weight, body surface area (BSA) and body mass index (BMI) of all the subjects were measured. Forced vital capacity (FVC) and Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) were also computed.
Results: The mean age, BMI, BSA of road construction workers are 28.1Â±2.35 yrs, 18.46Â±1.763 kg/m2, 1.439Â±0.021 m2 respectively. Some of them reported (15%) chest tightness, cough, and breathlessness just after the work schedule. There are significantly decreased FEV1 (P<0.001) and decreased FVC (P<0.001) of about 15.82% and 17.45% respectively.
Conclusions: Road construction workers are generally exposed to bitumen fumes during their working period which may be the cause of their reduced FVC & FEV1. If they wear a gas mask, it will prevent inhalation of bitumen fumes. This precaution may protect them from the lung ailments. Besides this the working environmental posture should be corrected by introducing some mechanical device which may prevent a musculoskeletal disorder.
Keywords: Bitumen, Hydrocarbon vapors, Respiratory problems, Asphalt, PAH.
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