The prevalence of occupational asthma and rhinitis among woodworkers in south-eastern Nigeria
Wood dusts are known to cause respiratory disorders like rhinitis and asthma. This study was therefore done to determine the magnitude of the problem among woodworkers in south-eastern Nigeria exposed to high level of wood dust. Five hundred and ninety one woodworkers were selected using a stratified random sampling. The prevalence of woodworkrelated rhinitis and asthma were then observed in the study population. Also the peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) of each woodworker was obtained. The prevalence of occupational rhinitis was 78%, while that of asthma was 6.5%. As period of woodwork increased the prevalence of rhinitis and asthma increased (rhinitis: χ2 trend = 53.015, df = 1, P = 0.000). For asthma, χ2 trend =19.721, df = 1, P = 0.000). Also the PEFR significantly became low with increasing years of exposure to woodwork (χ2 trend = 75.965, df = 1, P= 0.000). In conclusion the prevalence of rhinitis and asthma in woodworkers was high and significantly increased with years of working as a woodworker.
Keywords:woodwork, peak expiratory flow rate, rhinitis, asthma, wood dust, Nigeria
Tanzania Health Research Bulletin Vol. 9 (1) 2007: pp.52-55