Impact of Fuel Exposure on Ventilatory Function among Petrol Pump Attendants in Thies, Senegal
Introduction: Petrol pump attendants are exposed to toxic substances in fuels. The release of petrol fumes during fuel refuelling is a repeated and often harmful source of exposure for petrol pump attendants. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the ventilatory disorders related to fuel exposure among petrol pump attendants.
Materials and Method: Forty petrol pump attendants have been recruited. The study included a medical survey with a questionnaire that examined anthropometric characteristics, seniority, smoking habits and working conditions. The study included a medical survey with a questionnaire that examined anthropometric characteristics, seniority, smoking habits and working conditions. All our subjects received a basic and post-bronchodilator spirometry. The targeted respiratory functional disorders were bronchial obstruction, restrictive syndrome and mixed syndrome. Obstructive syndrome has been reported on the basis of: FEV1/ FVC and/or FEF25-75% less than 80%. Functional restriction was defined on the basis of a decrease in FVC <80% and the normal FEV1/FVC ratio. The mixed syndrome was retained firstly before the combination of the two obstructive and restrictive spirometric anomalies.
Results: We noted 20% of active smokers and 25% of ex-smokers. The average length of service was 9.4 ± 7.05 years. All of the petrol pump attendants used incomplete means of protection. No employee was receiving medical follow-up. Most subjects (52.5%) were unaware of the risks associated with fuel exposure. Respiratory functional disorders were dominated by isolated obstructive ventilatory disorder (OVD) in 45% of subjects and were mainly located in the distal bronchi (65%). Besides, 12.5% of subjects had an isolated restrictive functional disorder (RFD) and a mixed syndrome in 27.5% of cases. Obstructive and mixed ventilatory disorders were more important according to smoking status. The different ventilatory disorders (VD) appeared from the beginning of exposure with a predominance of obstructive ventilatory disorders. Mixed ventilatory disorders increased significantly after 10 years of exposure.
Conclusion: Exposure to petrol / diesel fumes has harmful effects on the ventilatory function of petrol pump attendants.
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