Respiratory Disorders of Symptoms Workers with Exposure to Organophosphates Materials

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistance professor of Qazvin University of medical sciences, occupational medicine specialist

2 Assistance professor of Qazvin university of medical sciences, internist

3 Assistanceprofessor of Qazvin University of medical sciences, pulmonologist


Organophosphate pesticides are widely used for agricultural pest control. Recent studies have linked pesticide exposure to respiratory symptoms and spirometry abnormalities. Regular use of appropriate personal protective equipment could protect workers from adverse respiratory health effects. This study explores the prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms and ventilatory function among workers with occupational exposure to organophosphate pesticides.
Materials and Methods
An interviewer- administered questionnaire was used to collect information on sociodemographic characteristic , smoking profile and history of respiratory health among 134 worker at a orgnophosphate production plant (exposed group ) , and workers occupationally unexposed to dust , fumes and gases (unexposed group ) . Pulmonary function was assessed for both groups.
A higher percentage of the exposed workers reported recurrent and prolonged respiratory symptoms including cough (17%), phlegm (19%), wheeze (6%), dyspnoea (9%), shortness of breath (7%) and bronchial asthma (4%). Among the unexposed, prevalence of these symptoms were 9, 11, 1, 2, 4, and 1%, respectively. FVC, FEV1, and FEV1/FVC were significantly lower in the exposed workers compared with unexposed workers. Logistic regression analysis showed that the risk of respiratory symptoms increased 3.6 fold in organophosphate workers when compared to controls.
This study suggests an increase of adverse respiratory health effects (reduction in lung function and a rise in respiratory symptoms) in workers with organophosphate exposure. We conclude that long term exposure to organophosphate is associated with chronic or permanent restrictive lung disease. This phenomenon was not observed in the control group.


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