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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 249-255

The evaluation of the dust-related occupational respiratory disorders of dental laboratory technicians working in Denizli Province


1 Oral Health Division Director, Denizli Health Directorate, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey
2 Department of Pulmonology, Denizli State Hospital, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey
3 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Ali İhsan Bozkurt
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Pamukkale University, Kınıklı Campus, Denizli
Turkey
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DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.167073

PMID: 26664562

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INTRODUCTION: Dental laboratory technicians (DLTs) get exposed to fibrinogen dusts that are very risky dusts in terms of health. In this study, respiration complaints, pneumoconiosis frequencies and working conditions of the dental technicians in Denizli were investigated. METHODS: All of the registered DLTs working in Denizli were included in the study. A 30-item questionnaire was used to gather data about the participants and their working environments. Then, pulmonary function tests (PFTs) were carried out and standard chest X-rays were taken in order to detect how much the respiratory systems of the workers were affected. Standard chest X-rays were evaluated according to International Labour Organizations classification. Depending on the screening results, technicians who were found to have had pathologies and suspected cases were examined. "High-resolution computerized tomography (HRCT)" was taken from those who were found to have pathology in their chest X-rays and they were evaluated according to the classification of Hering et al. RESULTS: There are a total of 166 DLTs working in Denizli Province participated in the study. One hundred and forty-three (86.1%) of the participants were male, and 23 of them were female. The mean age of the participants is 33.5 ± 8.1. Average working time of the workers is 16 years. Total exposure time was calculated 36,177 h. Approximately, 56% of workers were smokers. When the working conditions were considered, it was found that 98.8% of laboratories had a ventilation system. Technicians' use of personal protective equipment is low. Participants' often or continuous use of masks, gloves, goggles, and vacuum device was found 69%, 36%, 47%, and 63% respectively while working. About 21.2% of the technicians have respiratory symptoms while 15.2% of them have eye complaints. At the analysis of PFT results, 27.7% restrictive type pulmonary disorder was determined. At the analysis of chest X-rays; 1/0 profusion sub-category was 25.5%, and the large opacity rate was 16.9%. Ten pneumoconiosis cases (6%) were diagnosed after the analysis of the HRCT results. The ratio of pneumoconiosis was found much higher among male technicians, particularly those who have been working for a long time in the profession and those working at the town hospitals and Department of metal leveling. DISCUSSION: Technicians' use of personal protective tools is not enough and ratio of smoking is rather high. Pneumoconiosis cases clearly show this exposure. It is necessary to adopt comprehensive work health and safety precautions considering the determined risk factors.


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