Health  Vol.6 No.16 , September 2014
Altered Pulmonary Function among the Transport Workers in Dhaka City
Abstract: Motor vehicular exhaust is threatening to human health in Dhaka city. To find out the extent of respiratory problem among a particular cadre of transport workers, the human hauler helpers (HHH) of Dhaka city, we conducted a cross sectional study from March 2006 to June 2006. We enrolled 108 HHH from Mirpur to Mohakhali and Gabtoli to Mohakhali routes and collected data using a pre tested questionnaire including interview and physical examination. The pulmonary functions of the participants were measured with electronic spirometer. Among the participants with current respiratory problems 69% complained of gradual increase in respiratory problems and 38% gave history of feeling better on weekly holidays. Occurrence of hoarseness of voice (90%) and wheeze (71%) was extremely high among the helpers followed by cough (50%) and nasal irritation (50%). Spirometry showed 41.7% had obstructive and 4.6% had combined features of pulmonary impairment. Logistic regression analysis showed that respondents who worked 24 months or more were 6.9 times more likely to develop respiratory problem than the less exposed group (OR 6.9; 95% CI 3.42, 8.41). This study provides new information on respiratory health of a specific group of transport workers in Dhaka city which warrants further evaluation with a representing sample covering other areas of Dhaka city among all transport workers.
Cite this paper: Mahfuz, M. , Ahmed, T. , Ahmad, S. and Khan, M. (2014) Altered Pulmonary Function among the Transport Workers in Dhaka City. Health, 6, 2144-2153. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.616249.

[1]   Chauhan, A.J. and Johnston, S.L. (2003) Air Pollution and Infection in Respiratory Illness. British Medical Bulletin, 68, 95-112.

[2]   Bartra, J., Mullol, J., del Cuvillo, A., Dávila, I., Ferrer, M., et al. (2007) Air Pollution and Allergens. Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology, 17, 3-8.

[3]   Dhaka Population. World Population Statistics.

[4]   Rehana, A. and Derek, L. (2002) Better Air Quality in Asian and Pacific Rim Cities. Paper Presented at Better Air Quality Workshop 2002 by Air Quality Management Project, Bangladesh; 16-18 December 2002, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

[5]   Xie, J., Brandon, C.J. and Shaj, J.J. (1998) Fighting Urban Transport Air Pollution for Local and Global Good. Paper Presented at the Consultative Meeting on Integrated Approach to Vehicular Air Pollution Control in Dhaka Held by World Bank and Department of Environment of Bangladesh, 26-27 April 1998.

[6]   Groneberg-Kloft, B., Kraus, T., Van Mark, A., Wagner, U. and Fischer, A. (2006) Analyzing the Causes of Chronic Cough: Relation to Diesel Exhaust, Ozone, Nitrogen Oxides, Sulphur Oxides and Other Environmental Factors. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 1, 6.

[7]   World Health Organization (2006) WHO Air Quality Guidelines for Particulate Matter, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide: Global Update 2005. Summary of Risk Assessment. World Health Organization, Geneva.

[8]   Riechelmann, H., Rettinger, G., Weschta, M., Keck, T. and Deutschle, T. (2003) Effects of Low-Toxicity Particulate Matter on Human Nasal Function. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 45, 54-60.

[9]   World Health Organization (1988) Air Quality Criteria and Guides for Urban Air Pollutants. World Health Organization Technical Report Series, No. 507, Geneva, 5-25.

[10]   Pravati, P., John, R.A., Dutta, T.K., et al. (2010) Pulmonary Function Test in Traffic Police Personnel in Pondicherry. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 54, 329-336.

[11]   Happo, M.S., Salonen, R.O., Halinen, A.I., et al. (2010) Inflammation and Tissue Damage in Mouse Lung by Single and Repeated Dosing of Urban Air Coarse and Fine Particles Collected from Six European Cities. Inhalation Toxicology, 22, 402-412.

[12]   Budinger, G.R., Mc Kell, J., Urich. D., et al. (2011) Particulate Matter-Induced Lung Inflammation Increases Systemic Levels of PAI-1 and Activates Coagulation through Distinct Mechanisms. PLoS ONE, 6, e18525.

[13]   Ekpenyong, C.E., Ettebong, E.O., Akpan, E.E., Samson, T.K. and Daniel, N.E. (2012) Urban City Transportation Mode and Respiratory Health Effect of Air Pollution: A Cross-Sectional Study among Transit and Non-Transit Workers in Nigeria. BMJ Open, 2, e001253.

[14]   Foster, W.M., Brown, R.H., Macri, K., et al. (2000) Bronchial Reactivity of Health Subjects: 18-20h Post-Exposure to Ozone. Journal of Applied Physiology, 89, 1804-1810.

[15]   Wong, C.M., Thach, T.Q., Chau, P.Y., et al. (2010) Part 4: Interaction between Air Pollution and Respiratory Viruses: Time-Series Study of Daily Mortality and Hospital Admissions in Hong Kong. Research Report (Health Effects Institute), 154, 283-362.

[16]   Chai, Z.F., Qian, Q.F., Feng, X.Q., et al. (2004) Study of Occupational Health Impact of Atmospheric Pollution on Exposed Workers at an Iron and Steel Complex by Using Neutron Activation Analysis of Scalp Hair. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 259, 153-156.

[17]   Nku, C.O., Peters, E.J., Eshiet, A.I., et al. (2005) Lung Function, Oxygen Saturation and Symptoms among Street Sweepers in Calabar-Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences, 20, 79-84.

[18]   Kennedy, S.M., Chambers, R., Du, W., et al. (2007) Environmental and Occupational Exposure: Do They Affect Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Differently in Women and Men? Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 4, 692-694.

[19]   Bangladesh Road Transport Authority(2013)

[20]   Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1983 (Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh), s. 76A(1)(b)-(c).

[21]   The World Bank (2007) Improving Living Conditions for the Urban Poor Bangladesh Development Series. Paper No. 17, The World Bank Office, Dhaka.

[22]   Wadud, Z. and Khan, T. (2013) Air Quality and Climate Impacts Due to CNG Conversion of Motor Vehicles in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Environmental Science Technology, 47, 13907-13916.

[23]   Begum, B.A., Biswas, S.K. and Hopke, P.K. (2006) Impact of Banning of Two-Stroke Engines on Airborne Particulate Matter Concentrations in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Journal of the Air Waste Management Association, 56, 85-89.

[24]   Hussam, A., Alauddin, M., Khan, A.H., Chowdhury, D., Bibi, H., Bhattacharjee, M. and Sultana, S. (2002) Solid Phase Microextraction: Measurement of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Dhaka City Air Pollution. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A, Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, 37, 1223-1239.

[25]   American Thoracic Society (1978) Recommended Respiratory Disease Questionnaires for Use with Adults and Children in Epidemiological Research.

[26]   WHO (1995) Physical Status: The Use and Interpretation of Anthropometry: Report of a WHO Expert Committee. World Health Organization, Geneva.

[27]   NIOSH (2003) Spirometry Training Guide. Division of Respiratory Disease Studies. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, West Virginia.

[28]   Crapo, R.O., Morris, A.H., Clayton, P.D., et al. (1982) Lung Volumes in Health Non-Smoking Adults. Bulletin Européen de Physiopathologie Respiratoire, 18, 419-425.

[29]   The National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions (2004) Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. National Clinical Guideline on Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Adults in Primary and Secondary Care. Thorax, 59, 1-232.

[30]   Stanojevic, S., Wade, A. and Stock, J. (2010) Reference Values for Lung Function: Past, Present and Future. European Respiratory Journal, 36, 12-19.

[31]   Hankinson, J.L., Odencrantz, J.R. and Fedan, K.B. (1999) Spirometric Reference Values from a Sample of the General US Population. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 159, 179-187.

[32]   Miller, M.R., Hankinson, J., Brusaco, V., Burgos, F., Casburi, R., Coates, A., et al. (2005) Standardisation of Spirometry. European Respiratory Journal, 26, 319-338.

[33]   Ashok, F.A., Copur, A.S., Javeri, A., Jere, S. and Cohen, M.E. (2004) Reference Values for Pulmonary Function in Asian Indians Living in the United States. Chest, 126, 1225-1233.

[34]   Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (2002) National Child Labour Survey.

[35]   World Health Organization (1996) Diesel Fuel and Exhaust Emissions: Environmental Health Criteria 171. WHO, Geneva.

[36]   Riechelmann, H., Rettinger, G., Weschta, M., Keck, T. and Deutschle, T. (2003) Effects of Low-Toxicity Particulate Matter on Human Nasal Function. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 45, 54-60.

[37]   Saldiva, P.H.N., Pope 3rd, C.A., Schwartz, J., Dockery, D.W., Lichtenfels, A.J., Salge, J.M., et al. (1995) Air Pollution and Mortality in Elderly People: A Time-Series Study in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Archives of Environmental Health, 50, 159-163.

[38]   William, N.R. (1998) Environmental and Occupational Medicine. 3rd Edition, Lippincott-Raven, New York, 245, 247-252, 261-262.

[39]   Waldron, H.A. (1994) Occupational Health Practice. 3rd Edition, Butterworths, London, 217-233.

[40]   Mannino, D.M. and Buist, A.S. (2007) Global Burden of COPD Risk Factors, Prevalence and Future Trend. The Lancet, 370, 765-773.

[41]   Islam, M.S., Hossain, M.M., Pasha, M.M., Azad, A.K. and Murshed, K.M. (2013) Prevalence and Risk Factors of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in Dhaka City Population. Mymensingh Medical Journal, 22, 547-551.