Work-related symptoms among furniture factory workers in Lublin region (eastern Poland).

Ann Agric Environ Med 2002;9(1):99–103
48 woodworkers employed in the furniture factory were examined. The control group consisted of 41 office workers with no exposure to organic dust. The examination included: interview on work-related symptoms, physical examination, and lung function test performed before and after the working-day. 38 out of 48 (79.2%) woodworkers reported work-related symptoms. The most common complaint was dry cough reported by 25 workers (52.1%), followed by general malaise -- reported by 17 (35.45%), conjunctivitis -- by 16 (33.3%), rhinitis - by 16 (33.3%), and skin symptoms by 16 (33.3%). Other symptoms such as headache, shortness of breath and chest pain occurred less frequently. Subjects working in initial processing and board processing departments had a higher prevalence of cough compared to workers employed in the varnishing department (p < 0.01).The prevalence of skin symptoms was significantly higher in board processing and varnishing departments compared to initial processing department (p < 0.05). Occupational asthma and allergic alveolitis were recorded in 3 out of 48 (6.2%) and 2 out of 48 (4.2%) workers, respectively. Baseline FVC and FEV(1) values were lower in woodworkers compared to controls (p < 0.01). The increased lung function parameters (FVC, FEV(1)) were observed in woodworkers who smoked compared to non-smokers. The difference was not statistically significant. There was a significant over-shift decrease of all measured spirometric values: FVC, FEV(1)), FEV(1)) /VC, PEF among woodworkers (p < 0.001). There was a significant pre-shift, post-shift decline in FVC, FEV(1)), FVC/FEV(1)), and PEF among workers under 30 years of age (p < 0.001). The same tendency was seen for FVC and FEV(1)) in subjects over 30. The percentage changes in FVC and FEV(1)) were greater in the group of younger workers (15.1% and 17.6%) respectively, than in the group of older subject (6.2%, 7.1%). The difference was not statistically significant.