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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 370138, 4 pages
Clinical Study

Prevalence of Occupational Asthma and Respiratory Symptoms in Foundry Workers

1Department of Chest Disease, Faculty of Medicine, Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, 53100 Rize, Turkey
2Department of Chest Disease, Hospital of Chest Disease and Thoracic Surgery, 55090 Samsun, Turkey
3Department of Chest Disease, Faculty of Medicine, Ondokuz Mayis University, 55139 Samsun, Turkey

Received 3 March 2013; Revised 20 August 2013; Accepted 21 August 2013

Academic Editor: Stefano Centanni

Copyright © 2013 Servet Kayhan 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.


This cross-sectional study was conducted in a foundry factory to assess the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and occupational asthma in foundry workers. Physical examination, spirometric evaluation, chest radiograph, and a questionnaire related to respiratory symptoms were performed. Monitoring of peak expiratory flow rates, spirometric reversibility test, and high-resolution computed tomographies were performed for the participants having respiratory symptoms and/or impaired respiratory function test. A total of 347 participants including 286 workers from production department and 61 subjects who worked in nonproduction departments were enrolled in this study. It is found that phlegm ( : 71, 20.46%) and cough ( : 52, 14.98%) were the most frequent symptoms. The other symptoms were breathlessness ( : 28, 8.06%), chest tightness ( : 14, 4.03%), and wheezing ( : 7, 2.01%) . The prevalence of occupational asthma was found to be more frequent among the subjects who worked in the production department ( : 48, 16.78% ) than the other persons who worked in the nonproduction department ( : 3, 4.91%) by chi-square test ( : 0.001). To prevent hazardous respiratory effects of the foundry production, an early diagnosis of occupational asthma is very important. Cessation of cigarette smoking and using of protective masks during the working time should be encouraged.