Dust exposure and health of workers in duck hatcheries
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SEPIA-Sante, 31 rue de Pontivy, 56150 Baud, France
ITAVI, 41 rue de Beaucemaine, 22440 Ploufragan, France
Sanivol, Zoopôle Beaucemaine, 22440 Ploufragan, France
ANSES – Ploufragan-Plouzané Laboratory, BP 53, 22440 Ploufragan, France
Corresponding author
Marie-Thérèse Guillam   

SEPIA-Sante, 31 rue de Pontivy, 56150 Baud, France
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2017;24(3):360-365
The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to investigate dust exposure and respiratory health of workers in duck hatcheries in western France.

Material and Methods:
Ninety volunteer workers, who work in sorting rooms and/or incubation rooms, participated in exposure assessments and medical examinations. Medical examinations were performed by occupational health practitioners.They filled-in a questionnaire with the workers, followed by a lung function test on each worker. General characteristics and prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms were described in each type of working rooms. Associations between symptoms and exposure (working room or dust level) were studied in GEE multivariate models.

Overall prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms (cough, phlegm) and chronic bronchitis were similar or lower than in the reference population. However, prevalence of these symptoms was higher for those working in sorting rooms, that were associated with an increased risk of respiratory symptoms and decreased lung function. Respirable dust was also significantly associated with an increased risk of respiratory symptoms. The prevalence of asthma and rhinitis were well above those in the reference population, but did not vary among working rooms. Descriptive data suggested an occupational origin for some cases.

Hatchery workers were at increased risk of compromised respiratory health due to dust exposure, particularly those who work in sorting rooms. Asthma and rhinitis were in excess in this population of workers. Thorough clinical examination of these workers should be performed and all exposures assessed.

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