Pulmonary Functions and Health-Related Quality of Life Among Silica-Exposed Workers

This study aimed to investigate the pulmonary functions of silica-exposed workers and their health-related quality of life in an insulator manufacturing industry.

In this cross-sectional study, participants selected from the manufacturing unit constituted the exposed group and those from the administrative department constituted the unexposed group. All subjects were evaluated using personal air sampling of crystalline silica, pulmonary function tests, and a quality-of-life questionnaire.

All the pulmonary function indices and all the physical and mental health domains of the workers were significantly lower than those of the administrative clerks. The silica concentration did not significantly correlate with the quality-of-life components, and all the pulmonary function indices except for forced vital capacity.

The workers exposed to higher levels of crystalline silica had lower values of pulmonary function indices and lower health-related quality of life; however, further follow-up studies are needed to confirm these findings.

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