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Indian Journal of Clinical Anatomy and Physiology

Evaluation of pulmonary functions in petrol pump workers

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Author Details: Sumathi P, N. Neelambikai

Volume : 3

Issue : 2

Online ISSN : 2394-2126

Print ISSN : 2394-2118

Article First Page : 189

Article End Page : 194


Introduction: Petrol/ Diesel vapour generates pollutants like hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, carbon and particulate matter. Occupational exposure to petrol/ diesel vapours have been shown to affect the functioning of different systems of the body. Hence the present study aims to evaluate the pulmonary functions in petrol-pump workers.
Aim: Aim of the present study is to evaluate the pulmonary functions in petrol-pump workers and to compare their Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) with that of age and sex matched controls.
Methodology: Study group- Fifty healthy, non-smoker petrol-pump workers in the age group of 18-40 years. Control group-Fifty age and sex matched healthy nonsmokers. The pulmonary function tests Forced vital capacity (FVC) and Vital capacity (VC) were carried out by using computerized spirometer. The parameters Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR (L/S)) Forced Expiratory Flow (FEF25&75%(L/S), Peak Inspiratory Flow (PIF(L/S), Forced Vital Capacity (FVC(L) Forced Expiratory Volume in first second (FEV1(L)), Forced Expiratory Volume percentage(FEV1%), Forced inspiratory vital capacity (FIVC(L)), Vital capacity (VC(L)), Expiratory reserve volume (ERV(L)) were compared between the two groups.
Results: The PFTs of petrol pump workers were significantly decreased as compared to controls. The female workers and controls had significantly lower PFT than their respective male counterparts. The male petrol pump workers with more than 5 years of exposure had significantly decreased PFT.
Discussion: The decreased lung functions in petrol-pump workers may be attributed to their exposure to the volatile organic compounds like Benzene, pollutants like Lead, CO, CO2, Nitrogen oxides, Sulphur oxides ,Hydrocarbons and unburned carbon particles for more than six months, for at least 10 hours per day. The comparatively increased PFTs in males than females may be attributed to the greater inspiratory muscle strength, more number of alveoli per unit area, larger alveoli and greater compliance in males. Decreased PFT in workers with more than five years of service indicate that the decrements in pulmonary functions are worsened by increased years of exposure.

Key words:
Petrol pump workers, Pulmonary function tests, Years of exposure, Gender variation