Lung function parameters in spray painters in Calabar, Nigeria | Abstract
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Annals of Biological Research


Lung function parameters in spray painters in Calabar, Nigeria

Author(s): Aribo, E. O. and Antai, A. B.

In this study, the relationship between exposure to spray paints and respiratory end points (lung function indices) in spray painters compared with a control was studied.  The study population consisted of 154 automobile spray painters aged between 21 – 54 years.  Equivalent number of mean aged between 18 – 53 years was used as control.  All subjects worked and lived in Calabar.  Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second expressed as a percentage of forced vital capacity (FEV1%) and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were used as indices of pulmonary function.  A vitalograph spirometer was used to measure FEV1 and FVC while FEV1% was computed.  The peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) was measured using a mini-Wright peak flow meter.  A structured questionnaire was used to obtain biodata.   Anthropometric parameters were not significantly different between control and test subjects.  FVC was significantly lower in test than in control groups (P<0.001).  FEV1 was significantly lower in the test when compared with that of control  (p<0.001).  In the same way, the PEFR of the test group was significantly lower compared with the control (p<0.001).  The FEV1% was not significantly different in the two groups.  There was an inverse relationship between duration of exposure to spray painting and lung function parameters (FVC, p<0.01; FEV, p<0.01 and PEFR, p<0.01).  In conclusion, we report that chronic exposure to spray painting impairs lung function which is worse with increasing duration of exposure.