Ige and Awoyemi conducted an age- and sex-matched case-control study to assess occupational induced lung impairment as a result of exposure to grain and flour dust. The most frequent respiratory symptoms reported by bakery workers were sneezing, runny nose (53.3%), and periodic breathlessness/chest tightness (23.2%), while 21.5% of workers reported symptoms of cough/phlegm. In our study, before dust control (cycle 1 through cycle 3), ranges for the prevalence of chronic cough and chronic sputum were as follows: 15.8% (reported by Great Lakes grain workers) to 31.1% (reported by Atlantic grain workers) and 14.0% (reported by Great Lakes grain workers) to 20.9% (reported by St. Lawrence grain workers), respectively. Before dust control, ranges for chronic wheeze and chronic dyspnea were 10.4 to 16.6% and 9.9 to 13.7%, respectively. After dust control, ranges for all the chronic respiratory symptoms were reduced: chronic cough, 8.4 to 13.0%; chronic wheeze, 3.6 to 9.4%; chronic dyspnea, 6.1 to 16.1%; and chronic sputum, 5.8 to 15.0%. The prevalences of all chronic respiratory symptoms reduced after dust control. so
Based on a study of 373 workers exposed to flour and cereal dusts and 301 nonexposed subjects, Lara-qui et al reported that the prevalence of clinical respiratory symptoms was 64.1% among exposed subjects and 41.2% among nonexposed subjects. Spirometry was abnormal in 31.6% of exposed workers, and the prevalence of positive skin test results to occupational allergens was higher among those exposed (42.4%) than among those not exposed (9.9%). These results suggests that there is need of implementation of adequate medical and technical prevention, which may help to reduce these higher pulmonary risks among exposed workers.
Pahwa et al used first-order autoregressive models to predict the annual loss of lung function among Canadian mail grain elevator workers who participated in the Grain Dust Medical Surveillance Program over a 6-year period involving three observations. Pahwa et al reported that exposure to grain dust resulted in declines in pulmonary function test values (FEV1 and FVC) among nonsmoking, exsmoking, and current smoking grain workers. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the rural areas of two counties in east-central Alberta, Canada, to investigate the relationship between lung health and dust exposure in farmers.