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Title: Respiratory symptoms and lung function in relation to cotton dust and endotoxin exposure in textile workers in Nepal
Author: Paudyal, Priyamvada
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 4237
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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Background: Cotton workers are highly exposed to organic dust. Inhalation of cotton based particulate has been associated with various respiratory symptoms and impaired lung function. This study investigates the respiratory health profile of textile mill workers in Nepal in relation to dust and endotoxin exposure. Methods: This study was conducted in four sectors (garment, carpet, weaving and recycling) of the textile industry in Kathmandu, Nepal. A total of 938 individuals completed a health questionnaire and performed spirometry. A subset of 384 workers performed cross-shift spirometry. Personal exposure to inhalable dust and airborne endotoxin was measured during a full-shift for a 114 workers. Results: Geometric mean concentrations of personal exposure to cotton dust and endotoxin were 0.81 mg/m3 and 2160 EU/m3 respectively. Overall prevalence of persistent cough, persistent phlegm, wheeze, breathlessness and chest tightness were 8.5%, 12.5%, 3.2%, 6.5%and 3.6% respectively. Symptoms were most common among the recyclers and less in the garment sector. Exposure to inhalable dust significantly predicted the symptoms of persistent cough and chest tightness. Significant cross-shift reduction in FEV1, FVC, and FEF25_75 were measured in the textile workers (p<0.001 for all); reductions being greater in the recyclers (-143 ml) and smallest in the garment workers (-38 ml) (p=0.012). Cross-shift reduction in FEV1 was significantly predicated by exposure to inhalable dust. Exposure to endotoxin did not correlate with any of the respiratory symptoms nor to lung function. Conclusion: The measured association between exposure to inhalable dust and reporting of respiratory symptoms and lung function suggests that despite high levels of endotoxin exposures, inhalable dust is the driver for these effects and attention should turn to what might be the toxic component in this dust other than endotoxin.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Textile workers ; Respiratory organs ; Respiratory Tract Diseases