Comparison of pulmonary function test between exposed and non-exposed non-smoker adult males to indoor air pollutants: An observational and cross-sectional study in different offices of North India

Avnish Kumar, Gagneen Kaur Sandhu


Background: This study was planned to evaluate and compare the effect of indoor air pollutants on the pulmonary function testing of office workers (Safai Sewaks). We hypothesize that acute exposure to dust and other indoor pollutants daily during their job would lead to deterioration of their lung function more than anyone who is exposed to these indoor pollutants intermittently.
Materials and Methods: An observational and cross-sectional study comparing the pulmonary function parameters FEV1, FVC and PEFR between 100 Safai Sewaks and 100 controls matched for age, weight, height and body surface area. Study participants included were adult males between 18-45 years age and non-smoker.
Results: The actual values of FEV1, FVC and PEFR were compared in both the groups. FEV1 was significantly lower in Safai Sewaks (2.2350 ± 0.61072 L; p<0.01) as compared to the controls (2.5606 ± 0.64785 L). FVC was also significantly lower in Safai Sewaks (2.382 ± 0.7007 L; p<0.01) as compared
to the controls (2.790 ± 0.76955 L). PEFR, which is a good indicator of the expiratory effort was also lower in Safai Sewaks (6.033 ± 1.9170 L/min; p<0.01) as compared to the controls (7.558 ± 4.7082 L/min). 
Conclusion: Respiratory function as assessed by FEV1, FVC and PEFR is reduced in Safai Sewaks as compared to the controls due to indoor air pollution and exposure to dust associated with their daily job.

Keywords: Indoor dust exposure, Safai Sewaks, lung function.

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