In a coffee growing area of Papua New Guinea, a developing country in the western Pacific region, coffee factory workers were found to have more chronic symptomatic respiratory impairment than a carefully matched group of neighbouring villagers. This impairment was not related to their duration of employment. Coffee factory workers were found also to have a greater prevalence of reversible but asymptomatic airways obstruction on entering their factories after two days off duty than a group of soft drink factory workers. These findings are thought to be related to exposure to the dust produced in large quantities during coffee processing.
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