Occupational exposure and respiratory health problems among nutmeg production workers in Grenada, the Caribbean.

The nutmeg industry is a major contributor to the Grenadian economy. However, workers in the industry face many environmental and occupational health risks. The goal of this study was to investigate respiratory health problems and possible related occupational exposures among nutmeg production workers. A questionnaire, spirometry and allergen skin-prick test was given to 92 nutmeg workers. Samples for measurement of airborne dust, mould, and phosphine were also collected from work environments. Approximately half of the workers with lower respiratory symptoms such as dry cough (49.4%) and shortness of breath (42.9%) reported that their symptoms were work related. Spirometry results showed that 18.8% of workers had obstruction. Area geometric mean (GM) inhalable dust concentrations, GM personal concentrations, and total mould spores during work activities were found to be high. The authors concluded that high prevalence of respiratory symptoms among workers in this facility was consistent with measured levels of dust and mould, and was widespread over all work areas.

Authors: Akpinar-Elci M, Bidaisee S, Nguyen MT, Elci OC. ;Full Source: International Journal of Occupational & Environmental Health. 2017 Mar 2:1-5. doi: 10.1080/10773525.2017.1280948. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]