Health effects of exposure to organic dust in workers of a modern hatchery.
 
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1
Department of Occupational Biohazards, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
2
Department of Pneumonology, Oncology and Allergology, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
3
Department of Animal Hygiene and Environment, Faculty of Biology and Animal Breeding, Agricultural University of Lublin, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2007;14(2):341–345
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ABSTRACT
The aim of the presented study was to determine the health status of workers occupationally exposed to moderate amounts of organic dust, employed in a modern hatchery with an efficient ventilation system. A group of 32 hatchery workers was examined. As a reference group, 50 urban dwellers not exposed to any kind of organic dust were examined. All people were interviewed for the presence of work-related symptoms and subjected to physical and spirometric examinations. Blood sera were examined for the presence of precipitins against 13 antigens associated with organic dust, and for the presence of total and chicken-specific No significant differences were found between the spirometric values in the group of hatchery workers and the reference group. Positive precipitin reactions were noted mostly with the antigens of Gram-negative bacteria associated with organic dust. The frequencies of positive reactions to antigens of Escherichia coli and Acinetobacter baumannii in hatchery workers were significantly greater compared to the reference group (p<0.05). Precipitin reactions to Gram-positive non-branching bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi and birdactions to antigens of Escherichia coli and Acinetobacter baumannii in hatchery workers were significantly greater compared to the reference group (p<0.05). Precipitin reactions to Gram-positive non-branching bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi and bird protein, were rare or absent. The mean concentration of total IgE in sera of hatchery workers was nearly 3 times greater compared to the reference group, and the difference proved to be statistically significant (p<0.05). No specific IgE antibodies against chicken feathers were detected in the blood of hatchery workers and referents. In conclusion, the examined hatchery workers showed a moderate frequency of work-related symptoms, no decline in lung function and low reactivity to most microbial and bird protein allergens. These results suggest that the effects of exposure to organic dust in workers of modern hatcheries with an efficient ventilation system are less compared to the workers of poultry farms, such as broiler or egg laying houses.
eISSN:1898-2263
ISSN:1232-1966