"Introduction: Workers in rice mills may suffer from exposure to grain dust and its adverse effects on vari-ous organs have been described. Pulmonary function tests have been beneficial in the early recognition of pulmonary dysfunctions. Objectives of this research were to study the respiratory morbidity and assess peak expiratory flow rate among the rice mill workers and the various factors influencing them.
Method: A cross sectional study was conducted among 105 workers of seven rice mills in an urban field practice area after taking written in-formed consent. Data was collected by interview method using Respira-tory questionnaire based on the Medical Research Council and modified as per the study objectives. Weight, height, chest circumference and Peak expiratory flow rate was measured.
Results: Majority i.e. 53.33% of the subjects have Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) less than 300 l/min and the mean PEFR is 294.0 l/min. Almost 47.6% of the participants had at least one of the respiratory morbidity symptoms. Majority of the workers having symptoms of respiratory morbidity have Peak Expiratory Flow Rate of < 300 l/min and this was found to be statistical-ly highly significant.
Conclusion: Respiratory morbidity was quite prevalent in the rice mill workers as indicated by decreased Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) and requires application of ergo-nomics at the work place.
Key words: Respiratory morbidity, peak expira-tory flow rate, rice mill workers, ru-ral area