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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-48

Effect of organic dust exposure on pulmonary functions in workers of vegetable market with special reference to its microbial content

1 Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajesh Kathrotia
Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh - 249 203, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_167_17

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Context: Wholesale vegetable market is a rich source of generation of organic dust as loads of fruits and vegetables are loaded and unloaded here daily. Thus, regular workers are exposed to this organic dust for a considerable period of time depending on their work schedule. This study was planned to determine the microbial status of organic dust and to explore its association with pulmonary functions in the workers of wholesale vegetable market in Rishikesh. Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional exploratory/observational study. Thirty-five apparently healthy adult males were selected from vegetable market having no history of any chronic illness. Smokers and alcoholic were excluded from the study. The same number of age- and sex-matched controls with the same exclusion criteria were recruited from workers not working in the vegetable market and also not exposed to any other kinds of organic dust. Microbial culture of air in the vegetable market was done. It was compared with the microbial status of air in the working place of controls. Pulmonary functions of all the workers were performed with the help of digital spirometer (Helios 401). Results: Bacterial and fungal concentration was found to be significantly higher in the air of vegetable market as compared to air in the workplace of controls (such as coagulase-negative staphylococci >25 colony-forming unit (CFU) at incubation temperature vs. 10–12 CFU at incubation temperature, significant growth of Mucor, Aspergillus niger, and Candida nonalbicans in vegetable market as compared to workplace of controls). Pulmonary function parameters (percentage forced expiratory volume in 1st s (FEV1), percentage predicted forced expiratory flow in mid-half of expiration, and FEV1) of workers exposed to organic dust in vegetable market were also significantly lower (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Exposure of organic dust is associated with compromised pulmonary functions and there is a need of formulation of safety guidelines.


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