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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3705824, 11 pages
Research Article

Respiratory Symptoms due to Occupational Exposure to Formaldehyde and MDF Dust in a MDF Furniture Factory in Eastern Thailand

1Department of Industrial Hygiene and Safety, Faculty of Public Health, Burapha University, Chonburi 20131, Thailand
2Occupational Medicine Center, Samitivej Sriracha Hospital, Chonburi 20110, Thailand

Received 11 July 2016; Revised 9 November 2016; Accepted 24 November 2016

Academic Editor: William C. Cho

Copyright © 2016 Anamai Thetkathuek et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study aimed to investigate factors associated with respiratory symptoms in workers in a medium-density fiberboard (MDF) furniture factory in Eastern Thailand. Data were collected from 439 employees exposed to formaldehyde and MDF dust using questionnaire and personal sampler (Institute of Occupational Medicine; IOM). The average concentration of formaldehyde from MDF dust was 2.62 ppm (SD 367), whereas the average concentration of MDF dust itself was 7.67 mg/m3 (SD 3.63). Atopic allergic history was a factor associated with respiratory irritation symptoms and allergic symptoms among the workers exposed to formaldehyde and were associated with respiratory irritation symptoms and allergic symptoms among those exposed to MDF dust. Exposure to MDF dust at high level (>5 mg/m3) was associated with respiratory irritation symptoms and allergic symptoms. Excluding allergic workers from the study population produced the same kind of results in the analysis as in all workers. The symptoms were associated with the high concentrations of formaldehyde and MDF dust in this factory. If the concentration of MDF dust was >5 mg/m3, the risk of irritation and allergic symptoms in the respiratory system increased. The respiratory health of the employees with atopic allergic history exposed to formaldehyde and MDF dust should be monitored closely.