Article Type

Original Study


Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate respiratory and auditory disorders among workers in a ceramic manufacturing factory and their relationship with workplace environment in the same factory. Background The ceramic industry is one of the most hazardous industries to the respiratory system. In addition, disorders due to occupational exposure to noise are possible. Participants and methods A cross-sectional, comparative study was carried out on 138 workers in a ceramic manufacturing factory and 138 nonoccupationally exposed participants (control group). An environmental study for total, respirable, and differential dusts and noise was carried out. Spirometric measurements, audiometric assessment, and plain chest radiography were applied. Results The mean value of respirable dust level, free crystalline silica concentration, and noise levels were higher than international permissible levels. Ceramic manufacturing factory workers had a higher significant prevalence of respiratory and auditory manifestations as well as deteriorated spirometric measurements, abnormal audiometric assessment, and abnormal radiological findings. Conclusion Exposure to free crystalline silica concentrations more than permissible levels results in abnormal spirometric measurements and abnormal radiological findings. Continuous exposure to noise levels more than 90 dBA leads to abnormalities in audiogram in the form of threshold shifting and V-dip depression. Regular use of good-quality personal protective equipment, especially masks and ear muffs, and periodic medical examination are highly recommended.