The prevalence of pulmonary functional impairments workers induced by occupational exposure to Formaldehyde in a resin factory

Athena Rafeei pour, Mohammad Ranjbarian, Asghar Dehghani, Saba Kalantari



Background and Aims: Formaldehyde is used as a chemical solvent in many industries, including anatomical and pathological specimens’ processes, antimicrobial agent and pesticides in agriculture. According to it’s irritant properties and also chronic respiratory tract disease production is of interest., The main purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence of its acute and chronic respiratory effects on the workers who have exposed with low levels of formaldehyde on their pulmonary functional.
Materials and Methods: This Cross-sectional study was conducted at a resin producing plant. The study’s population consisted of 62 workers (40 were exposed and 22 were non-exposed). In order to assess worker’s atmospheric concentration exposure with formaldehyde, it was measured at different locations of the plant. Demographic information and respiratory symptoms were collected by a spirometer. Then the parameters of pulmonary function (Vital Capacity, Forced Vital Capacity, Forced Expiratory Volume in first second, Ratio Forced Vital Capacity to Forced Expiratory Volume in first second,and Maximum Expiratory Flow) were all measured during exposure and a few days after exposure ceased.
Results: Atmospheric concentration of formaldehyde showed higher threshold level value (TLV=0.75). Some parameters of pulmonary function (VC, FVC, FEV1) in exposed workers (at work time and after exposure) were noted less than the reference group (p<0.05). However, during a few days after rest, comparative improvement was observed in pulmonary function as well. Also exposed workers had higher occurrence rates of cough, phlegm, rhinorrhea, and throat irritation.
Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that exposure to formaldehyde could cause respiratory symptoms and respiratory disease.
Key words: Respiratory disease, Formaldehyde, Occupational exposure

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