Abstract Title:

The effect of exposure to chlorine on pulmonary function tests and respiratory and allergic symptoms in Iranian lifeguards.

Abstract Source:

Toxicol Ind Health. 2014 Apr ;30(3):218-24. Epub 2012 Jul 30. PMID: 22851523

Abstract Author(s):

M H Boskabady, M Esmaeilizadeh, M Boskabady

Article Affiliation:

M H Boskabady


Lifeguards are frequently exposed to various irritant chemicals including chlorine during work, which can induce respiratory and allergic disorders. In this study, pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and self-reported respiratory and allergic symptoms in lifeguards were compared with matched control subjects. The frequency of respiratory and allergic symptoms was evaluated in a sample of 38 Iranian male lifeguards and 38 control subjects with similar age, having other jobs from the general population, using a questionnaire including questions on work-related respiratory and allergic symptoms in the past year, smoking habits, and duration of working as a lifeguard. PFTs were also measured in lifeguard subjects before and 15 min after 200 µg inhaled salbutamol and baseline PFT in controls. A total of 22 (55%) participants reported work-related respiratory symptoms. Sputum (39.4%) and cough (18.4%) were the most common symptoms and only 7.9% and 15.8% of lifeguards reported wheezing and shortness of breath, respectively. Both sputum and breathlessness were significantly higher in lifeguards than control group (p < 0.05 and p < 0.005, respectively). Most allergic symptoms (sneezing and runny nose) in lifeguards were also significantly greater than control group (p < 0.05 for both cases). In addition, all respiratory (except sputum and wheezing) and allergic symptoms were significantly higher in lifeguards during work compared with rest period (p < 0.05 to p < 0.005). Most PFT values were also significantly lower in lifeguards than control subjects (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001). In addition, most (all) PFT values were significantly improved after 200 µg inhaled salbutamol (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001). These results showed that lifeguards have higher frequencies of work related respiratory symptoms and allergic symptoms particularly during the work period. PFT values were also significantly reduced among lifeguards.

Study Type : Human Study

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