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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 69-73

A study to assess the respiratory impairments among the male beedi workers in unorganized sectors

Regional Occupational Health Centre (E), Indian Council of Medical Research, Salt Lake City, Kolkata, India

Correspondence Address:
B P Chattopadhyay
Regional Occupational Health Centre (E), Indian Council of Medical Research, Block-DP, Sec-V, Salt Lake City, Kolkata - 700 091
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.27303

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Aims: The dust of tobacco enters the respiratory system of beedi workers through inhalation during beedi -making and causes respiratory impairments. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the pulmonary functional status of male beedi workers and to detect the pulmonary function impairments among these workers. Materials and Methods: A standard questionnaire was followed to note the symptoms like cough, breathlessness, morning cough and chest tightness. The tendu leaves contain fungal spores in different phases of its processing, particularly when they were kept in bundles in moist condition before wrapping the beedi. In the present study, pulmonary function status assessment was done by spirometric method using Spirovit-SP-10 and Wright's peak flow meter. Out of the total subjects studied (n=107), 56 were control subjects and 51 were workers exposed to beedi. Statistical Analysis: Paired t-test was done to determine the significant difference between beedi workers and control subjects. Result: A few workers reported symptoms of cough, breathlessness, morning cough and chest tightness. The respiratory symptoms were found higher in exposed beedi workers compared to control subjects. A trend of decrement of lung volumes with the increment of age and duration of work exposure was observed. The pulmonary function abnormalities found among the male beedi workers were obstructive, restrictive and 'combined restrictive and obstructive' type. Conclusion: The respirtory impairments among the beedi workers might be due to their exposure to the work environment.


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