007. Occupational exposure to chemical agents and its impact on the respiratory system
The Pan Hellenic Congress Abstracts

007. Occupational exposure to chemical agents and its impact on the respiratory system

Elisabeth-Christina Filippidou1, Nevena Tsacheva2

11st Pulmonary Department, General hospital of Kavala, Greece; 2Faculty of Public Health, Sofia Medical University, Bulgaria


Objective: To assess the respiratory effects of occupational exposure to dust and irritant gases in hospitalized patients at the Occupational Disease Clinic at the University Hospital of Sofia in Bulgaria in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Materials and methods: In a retrospective study, the medical records of the patients admitted to the hospital in 2008, 2009 and 2011 were studied. Detailed data were collected regarding age, sex, occupational status and experience, duration of employment, as well as exposure to harmful chemicals.

Results: 500 patients were hospitalized, 282 men and 218 women. The majority of them (59%) were over 55 years old, while 24% belonged to the group of 45-55 years old. The occupational history revealed that 24.4% of them were unemployed at that time, 13.6% were premature retirees due to some form of disability, 6.2% retired due to old age, 7.2% were drivers, 16.6% were office clerks, 5% worked in the manufacturing business and 4.6% were previous employees who had recently lost their jobs. 38.6% of the patients were exposed to dust and 17.2% to toxic aerosols. The duration of employment, especially the occupational exposure to hazardous materials, was especially important. The occupational history revealed that 4.6% were employed for up to 5 years, 7.4% for 5-10 years and 84.4% for more than 10 years. Consequently, the majority (84.4%) of the patients had an experience of at least 10 years of employment (84.4%) which correlates well with the following results: 73.6% of the patients were diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), 9.8% with bronchial asthma and 6.6% with lung cancer.

Conclusions: Exposure to dust and aerosols in the workplace is associated with an increased incidence of occupational respiratory diseases. This is also confirmed by the official results of the National Institute of Statistics. There is an urgent need for development of effective preventive measures by employers to protect the health of workers exposed to hazardous agents in the workplace and their occupational risk assessment. A joint effort between employers, workers and their organizations is important for the efficient management and control of hazardous chemicals and materials at national and global levels.

Keywords: Occupational disease; chemicals; spirometry


doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2015.AB007


Cite this abstract as: Filippidou EC, Tsacheva N. Occupational exposure to chemical agents and its impact on the respiratory system. J Thorac Dis 2015;7(S1):AB007. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2015.AB007

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