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Effect of rice mill dust on peak expiratory flow rate among rice mill workers of Mysore district

Uma Vijayashankar, Rajeshwari L.


Background: Inhalation of different pollutants exposed from the industries cause damage to the membrane structure and mechanical efficiency. This leads to an alteration in the functional properties of the lungs resulting in various respiratory diseases.

Aims and Objectives: The present study was undertaken to assess the effect of exposure of rice husk dust on peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) among rice mill workers in Mysore District.

Materials and Methods: The comparative cross-sectional analytical study was conducted during December 2013–December 2014 in various rice mills in Mysore district. The study was conducted on 50 non-smoking rice mill workers aged 18–45 years were selected as a study group and 50 healthy, age, sex, and anthropometrically matched subjects of same socioeconomic status who were not exposed to rice mill industries were selected as control group. Computerized spirometer (RMS-Helios 401 and Transducer No.400-666) was used to measure PEFR. The data were analyzed using SPSS 20, and the level of significance was set at P < 0.05, applying unpaired t-test, ANOVA, and Pearson’s correlation coefficient.

Results: The mean PEFR was significantly (P < 0.001) lower among rice mill workers (5.65 ± 1.84) than the controls (8.11 ± 1.41). The PEFR was found to significantly decrease with an increase in the length of exposure to rice mill dust (P = 0.03).

Conclusion: Our study showed that duration of exposure has a direct relationship with the reduction in PEFR.

Key words: Rice Mill Dust; Peak Expiratory Flow Rate; Rice Mill Workers

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