Background Car painters are exposed to Volatile organic compounds during their work.
Volatile organic compounds are a mixture of different hydrocarbons that after inhalation exposure or through skin absorption have adverse effects on the central nervous system (CNS), skin and respiratory system. Conservation programs and supervising and monitoring the health of the workers are necessary to reduce exposure before creating synergistic effects of toxic substances in the workplace.
Methods In this case-control study to evaluation of adverse health effects of VOCs on exposed persons,122 workers working in car painting workshops and122 people from the unexposed population as control in Arak-Iran were studied. Total Volatile organic compounds in their workshops were measured and using a designed questionnaire, demographic and respiratory symptoms of poisoning with VOCs were collected. Then, using a portable spirometer machine, Pulmonary function indices of workers, mainly “VC, FVC, FEV1 were measured. After collecting desired information, with spss software, statistical analysis was performed.
Results The workers in car painting workshops were exposed to 5.17 ppm TVOC during their work. The mean pulmonary function indices, VC, FVC FEV1 in cases 78, 178 and 44 ml were lower than the control group respectively. There was a statistically significant difference in Tiffeneau-Pinelli index (FEV1/FVC) between the two groups (pv < 0.02). It was found significant difference between the exposed and unexposed workers in the frequency of acute respiratory symptoms like sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, headache, weakness, runny nose, inflammation and nasal congestion, itchy nose and eyes (pv < 0.05).
Conclusion The results in this study indicate these workers during daily activities are exposed to higher than the permissible level of VOC. So suitable ventilation in the work place, engineering and administrative control, and regular training to promote workers’ awareness of health hazards of the chemicals to all workers are necessary.
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