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Health effects of rubber wood dust exposure among workers in a furniture factory

Yusof, Muhammad Zubir and Hod, Rozita and Noor Aizuddin, Azimatun and Samsuddin, Niza (2011) Health effects of rubber wood dust exposure among workers in a furniture factory. In: Scientific Conference on Occupational Safety & Health (SCI-COSH), 13-14 December 2011, NIOSH, Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Introduction: Potential health impacts resulting from wood dust exposure among workers in the furniture factories have been reported in many studies. However, most of the studies focused on pine, beech, teak, oak and red western cedar. There is still lack of studies pertaining to the health effects due to exposure to rubber wood (Hevea brasiliensis) dust. Aim: To assess the health effects of the workers exposed to rubber wood dust in the furniture factory. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 277 workers in a rubber wood furniture factory located in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. The data was collected through a face-to-face interview was conducted by using a validated questionnaire to assess the respiratory, nasal, eyes and skin symptoms and spirometry for their lung function assessment. The airborne wood dust levels were measured in various work area, continuously for eight hours. Results: A total of 241 of workers were exposed directly to the rubber wood dust compared to 36 workers which were unexposed (office area). Those exposed were from the production working areas. Majority of the workers aged 19 to 61 years were male (n=223, 80.5%) and foreigners (n=178, 64.3%). Direct measurement of area sampling showed a high level of dust concentration at material supply area (1.1 mg/m3) and a lower level of dust concentration at office area (0.445 mg/m3). Among the highest prevalence of respiratory and skin symptoms experienced by the workers were eyes (n=137, 49.5%), nasal (n=135, 48.7%), cough (n=46, 16.6%) and skin (n=60, 21.7%) with the worker’s group status of exposure. The study showed significant associations of cough (χ2=8.240, p=0.004) and chest tightness (χ2=4.553, p=0.033). Employees who had worked for 10 years and more in the furniture factory, were found to have significant experienced of breathlessness (χ2=15.564, p<0.0001), chest tightness (χ2=6.859, p=0.009) and phlegm (χ2=5.366, p=0.021). Workers that worked with the availability and used of exhaust ventilation showed significant experienced having cough (χ2=7.525, p=0.006), nasal symptoms (χ2=9.029, p=0.003), eyes symptoms (χ2=4.460, p=0.035) and skin symptoms (χ2=10.094, p=0.001). However, there were no significant differences on the use of PPE with all the symptoms studied. Conclusion: There were significant health effects potentially faced by the workers who were exposed to rubber wood dust in the furniture industry. In order to protect these workers, appropriate preventive and control measures should be implemented in the work places.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Slide Presentation)
Additional Information: 7773/59859
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rubber wood dust; Furniture factory; Health effects; Lung function; Area sampling
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes: Kulliyyah of Medicine > Department of Community Medicine (Effective: 1st January 2011)
Depositing User: Dr Muhammad Zubir Yusof
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2017 11:16
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2017 11:16
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/59859

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