Occupational Health Hazards among Sewage Workers: Oxidative Stress and Deranged Lung Functions BC11-BC13
Dr. Mohammad Shadab,
C/o Er. Fakhr-e Inam, H. No. A-8, Hamza Colony, Aligarh-202002, UP, India.
Phone: 0966-533092743, E-mail: email@example.com
Background: Sewage workers, because of their occupation, are exposed to different types of dusts, bio-aerosols, fumes and gases like methane, hydrogen sulfide, sulphur dioxide, etc, which contribute towards oxidative stress and detrimental effects on various body functions, especially lung functions.
Aims and Objectives: This study was carried out on sewage workers (who had been working for more than five years). We wanted to study the role of oxidative stress in development of impaired lung functions among sewage workers.
Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study was done in a tertiary care hospital (J.N. Medical College) in Aligarh, U.P. Study was done from March 2008 to December 2009. The study group comprised of 62 sewage workers who had been working for more than five years (32 non-smokers and 30 smokers) and 60 control subjects (30 smokers and 30 non-smokers). The pulmonary functions of these workers were assessed by using a MIR (Medical International Lab) Spiro Lab II Spirometer, with subjects in sitting position. Valid written consents were obtained from all the subjects. Malondialdehyde (MDA) is produced as a result of the action of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on the lipids present in the membranes of the cells, especially, contracting muscle cells. Serum MDA levels were assessed as an indirect measure of oxidative stress in these sewage workers and they were compared with serum MDA levels of control subjects. Appropriate statistical tests were applied for analysis of the data which was generated.
Observation and Results: There were statistically significant decreases in Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR), Forced Expiratory Volume in first second (FEV1) and FEV1/FVC percent ratio (<80%) and Forced Expiratory Flow at 25%-75% of volume as percentage of Vital Capacity (FEF 25%-75%). Also, we found statistically significant increased levels of serum MDA in these sewage workers as compared to those in control subjects (with a p-value of <0.05 with a confidence interval of 95%).
Conclusion: Our study found that the occupational exposure of the sewage workers to harmful dust, fumes, gases and bio-aerosols contributed to oxidative stress among them. This oxidative stress was one of the mechanisms which led to the development of obstructive impairment of lung functions in these sewage workers.