The Impact of Reduced Dust Exposure on Respiratory Health Among Cement Workers: An Ecological Study
Objectives: To compare total dust exposure, prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms, lung function, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among Tanzanian cement workers before (2002) and after (2010–2011) establishment of dust-control measures.
Methods: Personal total dust-exposure measurements, questionnaire assessment for chronic respiratory symptoms, and spirometry were conducted in both examination periods.
Results: Total dust exposure was lower in 2010–2011 than in 2002. The prevalence of most chronic respiratory symptoms and COPD was lower in 2010 than in 2002. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), percentage predicted FEV1, and percentage predicted forced vital capacity were higher among cement workers in 2010 than in 2002.
Conclusions: There was reduced total dust exposure level, lower prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms and COPD, and higher lung function among cement workers in 2010 than in 2002.