Pulmonary Function of Laundry Workers Chronically Exposed to Chlorine
Gladys O. Sermon, MD, Susan A. Rubiato, MD, John Perkin Abrantes, Maria Luisa T. Adriatico, Kieneth Paul N. Cajes, Gerry G. Carrillo Jr., Marian Angela E. Cornelio, Sarah Myza Katrina P. Guinta, Joshua Charles E. Hong, Gian G. Leiyn, James Ryan D. Mendoza, Maychel G. Panes, Ian Cezar Y. Pangian, Carlos Illich D. Pineda, Thea C. Querol, Maria Nena Bernadine T. Quiampang, Erika Joyce C. Rollo, and Liza Maria T. Undang
Chlorine inhalation, Laundry workers, pulmonary function tests
Chlorine is widely used as a bleaching agent in industry and society. In the hospital setting, it is used in increased concentration to remove bloodstains and dirt in bed linens. With its increasing use, this study aimed to evaluate the potential effects of chronic inhalation of chlorine in the respiratory function of laundry workers. The participants in the study were laundry workers from tertiary hospitals. The participants in the control group were comparable with the individual respondents in terms of demographic profile and past medical history. The pulmonary function was determined using spirometer and parameters evaluated include Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second (FEV¬1), Forced vital Capacity (FVC) and Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second/Forced Vital Capacity (FEV1/FVC) ratio. The spirometry testing was conducted in San Pedro College, Davao City. A two-sample t-test statistical technique was employed on the data gathered. The laundry workers exhibited a decrease in FEV1, FVC, and FEV1/FVC ratio compared to the control group but there was no significant difference between the laundry workers chronically exposed to chlorine and the control group who are not exposed to chlorine in terms of FEV1, FVS, and FEV1/FVC ratio. The results of this investigation suggest that although chronic chlorine inhalation prodcued a decrease in the pulmonary function parameters mentioned above, it was not enough to suggest an obstruction or restriction in the pulmonary passageway of the laundry workers. Hence, the difference between the exposed and unexposed groups was not statistically significant.