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J Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Aug;7(8):1589-91. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2013/5568.3231. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Effect of wood dust on respiratory health status of carpenters.

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Senior Resident, Department of Physiology, University College of Medical Sciences , Dilshad Garden, New Delhi, India .



Occupational lung diseases form an important part of clinical medicine. Exposure to various chemicals or toxins which are manufactured or processed in industries are lethal for the workers in industries. Although these chemicals at workplace are known to invariably affect all body systems, lungs are most vulnerable to airborne hazards which are caused due to exposure to wood dust in welding, cement and wood industrial sectors.


The aim of the present study was to establish the effect of wood dust on respiratory health of carpenters and to compare the measured values with those of age-matched controls.


This study involved 150 non-smoking carpenters, while 150 age-matched healthy non-smoking persons who were engaged in works other than carpentry, served as controls. The influence of age, height, body surface area (BSA) andduration of exposure on peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were determined in both cases and control subjects by using a Mini Wright's peak flow meter. The statistical analysis was done by using paired Student's t-test. A p-value of < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.


The mean PEFR of study subjects was less than that of the control subjects in each sub group of age, height, weight and BSA and these results were statistically highly significant.


The decrease in PEFR in carpenters was probably due to a continuous exposure to wood dust, which had caused an adverse effect on their respiratory status. In order to prevent the ill effects of wood dust on the respiratory health of carpenters, we suggest pre-employment medical check-ups and regular monitoring thereafter. Also, provision for a good ventilation at work place should be made.


Carpenters; Occupational exposure; Peak expiratory flow rate; Wood dust

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