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The ventilatory function in workers exposed to tobacco dust

, : The ventilatory function in workers exposed to tobacco dust. Revista de Igiena Bacteriologie Virusologie Parazitologie Epidemiologie Pneumoftiziologie Serie Igiena 28(4): 323-330

Spirography was used to study ventilatory function in workers from an enterprise for the fermentation and processing of tobacco. These workers were exposed to tobacco dust, other air contaminants of a non-organic nature (field dust), microorganisms and fungi. The study included 216 subjects (75% women) free of cardiorespiratory diseases that could influence pulmonary ventilation. They were examined clinically and radiologically and divided in 2 groups, of which one was the control, nonexposed group. Average age of subjects was 44 yr and duration of exposure was > 15 yr. CV [closing volume] VEMS and forced expiratory volume between 25-75% of CV (DME 25-75) were determined. Non-significant differences were noted in average values of CV VEMS and DME 25-75 in exposed and non-exposed subjects. There were significant differences between percentage of exposed subjects with low values of DME 25-75, and controls. Epidemiological value of estimating DME 25-75 in view of the early detection of possible obstruction of small respiratory pathways was real although ideal theoretical values had a great SD and a high variation coefficient. Pollution in rooms where tobacco was processed could influence respiratory apparatus by sheer quantity, even if the dust particles were not retained and this would lead to a depression of vibratile cilia and disturbance of pulmonary clearence.

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