Exposure of Wheat Flour Dust Exposure to Occupational Asthma at Bakery Workers PT X in Medan


Desdiani¹, Faisal Yunus², Nuryunita Nainggolan¹, Putri Chairani Eyanoer³
¹Departemen Pulmonologi dan Ilmu Kedokteran Respirasi Fakultas Kedokteran Universitas Sumatera Utara, RSUP H. Adam Malik Medan
²Departemen Pulmonologi dan Ilmu Kedokteran Respirasi Fakultas Kedokteran Universitas Indonesia, RS Persahabatan, Jakarta
³Lembaga Penelitian Pengembangan Masyarakat Universitas Sumatera Utara

Background: Wheat flour dust can cause occupational asthma of bakery workers. This study was designed to assess the relationship of wheat flour dust exposure and other factors with occupational asthma at bakery workers PT X in Medan.
Methods: A cross sectional study performed between May to July 2014 which is descriptive analytic study was done in bakery factory PT X in Medan, the subject was bakery workers in production, storage, administration, and marketing divisions. Randomly, each sample will be examined by interview using structured questionnaire, physical examination, chest x ray examination, lung function examination, daily peak flow examination 3 times by peak flow meter within 2 weeks, average wheat dust concentration in several rooms with personal dust sampler and area dust sampler, and wheat flour enzyme examination. Total sample about 89 subjects and each sample will be followed within 2 weeks.
Results: 89 subjects, aged between 20-59 years old, 5 subjects were indicated occupational asthma caused by wheat flour dust exposure. Lung function results in 4 subjects is mild obstruction (3 subjects from warehouse and production division and 1 subject from marketing division). Meanwhile, 1 subject from administration division is obstruction and restriction (p=0.020). Peak expiratory flow results in 5 subjects is more than 20% (p=0.000) and supported by clinical symptoms of occupational asthma. Three subjects worked at moderate dust concentration and 2 subjects worked at mild dust concentration. Skin prick test positive in three subjects with occupational asthma.
Conclusions: Exposure to wheat flour dust causes occupational asthma and varying degree of reduction in lung function with peak expiratory flow more than 20 % supported by clinical symptoms of occupational asthma in bakery workers PT X Medan. (J Respir Indo. 2015; 35: 107-17)
Keywords: Wheat flour dust exposure, occupational asthma, lung function, peak expiratory flow.

Click for full paper (PDF)