Zagazig Journal of Occupational Health and Safety

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Risks To The Health Of Wood Workers: What Can Be Done?

S Mirza


OBJECTIVE: To identify health problems of wood workers and suggest recommendations for its prevention.
METHODS: Extensive online search was made for medical literature on it published in English from 1960’s to date.151 articles were retrieved which were tailored to 124 including books, reviews and epidemiological studies.53 of them were relevant and are included in this review.
RESULTS: Wood workers are exposed to wood dust, fungi, bacteria, endotoxins, formaldehyde, phenol and various injuries in their working environment. This leads to impaired pulmonary functions; non-cancerous respiratory diseases like rhinitis, chronic bronchitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis; occupational cancers like sino-nasal cancer, laryngeal carcinoma, lung cancer, mesothelioma, Hodgkin’s disease, bladder cancer, skin cancer, prostate and brain cancer. This can be prevented by decreasing exposure to wood fumes in air by proper ventilation and decreasing work hours by increasing shifts, personal protective equipment and regular nasal lavage.
CONCLUSION: Wood workers are exposed to various biohazards at their work place which increases risk of occupational diseases which can be prevented by provision of healthy work environment.

KEY WORDS: wood workers health, wood industry exposures, hazards of wood
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