Respiratory Effects and Pulmonary Functions Related to Wood Dust Exposure among Workers in a Rubber Wood Factory

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Chompunuch Supapvanich
Thanawat Yeekew
Ganfre Pechayco


This study aimed to determine the effects of wood dust exposure on respiratory symptoms and pulmonary functions in wood dust factory workers and the association between wood dust exposure and pulmonary functions. This cross-sectional study comprised of one hundred workers who answered a self-reported questionnaire. Two factory areas, the production department and the back office, were explored using stationary air sampling. The wood dust concentration was collected using NIOSH Method 0600. Pulmonary function parameters were evaluated through spirometry. A descriptive statistics analysis was done for personal information. Binary logistic regression determined the association between wood dust exposure and respiratory symptoms. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms related to wood dust exposure at work was 49.00 percent. Three major symptoms in the exposed group includes chest pain, shortness of breath, and asthma. The average amount of PM10 in the saw mill area was significantly higher than in the back office (7.23 vs. 1.60 mg/m3). There was a significant difference in forced expiratory capacity between the reference and exposure groups (mean difference = -4.03, p-value = 0.011). The adjusted odd ratio showed that the high wood dust-exposed group had a lower runny nose and dry cough than the reference group. All workers need to consider using personal protective equipment with appropriate specifications in the sawmill area and also the other areas where wood dust levels are high. To control the concentration of respirable particles, resource and pathway control must be applied to reduce the concentration of respirable particles in the workplace.

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Supapvanich C, Yeekew T, Pechayco G. Respiratory Effects and Pulmonary Functions Related to Wood Dust Exposure among Workers in a Rubber Wood Factory. Health Sci J Thai [Internet]. 2024 Jun. 10 [cited 2024 Jul. 25];6(2):90-7. Available from:
Original articles


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