Respiratory Symptoms in Fish Processing Workers on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia

Open access

Respiratory Symptoms in Fish Processing Workers on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia

This article describes respiratory symptoms and lung function in 98 fish processing female workers employed in a fish processing plant located on the Croatian Adriatic coast and 95 matching controls. The study included chronic and acute respiratory symptoms which developed during the shifts. Lung function measurements included forced vital capacity (FVC), one-second forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and maximal expiratory rates at 50 % and the last 25 % (FEF50, FEF25). Chronic respiratory symptoms were significantly dominant in fish processing workers compared to controls. The most common chronic symptoms were hoarseness (57.1 %), nasal catarrh (51.0 %), chronic cough (42.9 %), chronic phlegm (34.7 %), and frequent chest cold (35.7 %). Exposed smokers and nonsmokers had a similar prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms. Acute symptoms over the work shift were high, with headache in lead (smokers: 62.5 %; nonsmokers: 56.1 %). Most of the ventilatory capacity parameters were significantly lower than predicted, FEF25 in particular, indicating obstructive changes predominantly in the smaller airways. These findings suggest that fish processing workers are prone to developing acute and chronic respiratory symptoms as well as to lung function changes. This calls for medical and technical preventive measures to be introduced in the work environment of the fish processing plant.

Pravilnik o veterinarsko-zdravstvenim uvjetima koje moraju ispunjavati objekti za uzgoj, proizvodnju i stavljanje u promet riba i proizvoda od riba te rakova i proizvoda od rakova [Ordinance on veterinary health conditions, requirements to be fulfilled by establishments for breeding, production and placing on the market of fish and fish products as well as shellfish and shellfish products, in Croatian]. Narodne novine 148/1999.

Pravilnik o provedbenim mjerama koje se odnose na zabranu recikliranja riba unutar istih vrsta, zakapanja i spaljivanja nusproizvoda životinjskog podrijetla [Ordinance on the implementing measures as regards the intra-species recycling ban for fish, the burrial and burning of animal by-products, in Croatian]. Narodne novine 96/2009.

Jeebhay MF, Cartier A. Seafood workers and respiratory diseases: an update. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;10:104-13.

Cotes JE, Chinn DJ. Medical Research Council Questionnaire (MRCQ) on respiratory symptoms. Occupational Medicine 2007;57:388; doi:10.1093/occmed/kqm051

Godnic-Cvar J. How to confirm occupational asthma. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1995;67:79-84.

Quanjer PH, Tammeling GJ, Cotes JE, Pedersen OF, Peskin R, Yernault JC. Lung volumes and forced ventilatory flows. Report of the Working Party «Standardization of Lung Function Tests». European Community for Steel and Coal. Eur Respir J 1993;Suppl 16:5-40.

Quanjer PH. Standardized lung function test of the European Committee for Coal and Steel. Bull Eur Physiopathol Respir 1983;19(Suppl 5):1-95.

Statistical Analysis Systems Institute. SAS/STAT User's Guide. release 6.05 ed. Cary, NC: SAS; 1988:1028.

Statistical Analysis Systems Institute. SAS Technical Report p-200. SAS/STAT Software: Calis and Logistic Procedures. release 6.04 ed. Cary, NC: SAg;1990:236.

Sherson D, Hansen I, Sigsgaard T. Occupationally related respiratory symptoms in trout-processing workers. Allergy 1989;44:336-41.

Shiryaeva O, Aasmoe L, Straume B, Bang BE. An analysis of the respiratory health status among seafarers in the Russian trawler and merchant fllets. Am J Ind Med 2011;54:971-9.

Bang B, Aasmoe L, Aamodt BH, Aardal L, Andorsen GS, Bolle R, Bøe R, Van Do T, Evans R, Florvåg E, Gram IT, Huser PO, Kramvik E, Løchen ML, Pedersen B, Rasmussen T. Exposure and airway effects of seafood industry workers in northern Norway. J Occup Environ Med 2005;47:482-92.

Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology

The Journal of Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health

Journal Information

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.117
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.335

CiteScore 2017: 1.24

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.341
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.494


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 177 176 18
PDF Downloads 51 50 4