Effect of Organic Dust on Health of Pounding Mill Workers in Southern Maharashtra, India

IJEP 42(10): 1272-1275 : Vol. 42 Issue. 10 (October 2022)

A.S. Jadhav*, P.R. Bhosale, S.T. Chougale and P.S. Sarkale

Shivaji University, Department of Environmental Science, Kolhapur- 416 004, Maharashtra, India


Chattani making is one of the common small-scale household occupations in Kolhapur city and around in western part of Maharashtra. It requires grinding of dry chillies and spices in pounding mill. The persons involved in this occupation may get exposed to organic dust which is associated with increased prevalence of respiratory symptoms and reduced lung function in human beings. Present study was carried out to investigate the effect of such exposure on the workers’ lung function and respiratory symptoms in pounding mills in Kolhapur city. Spirometry measurements of forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were performed on 50 workers (35 females and 15 males) and 50 clinically normal (30 females and 20 males) served as control. Significant differences in FVC, FEV1 and PEFR were observed between the two groups for exposed and control populations as well as both in male and female populations. In addition to the decrease in spirometry values, the workers also reported higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms compared to controls. Therefore, the study suggests that exposure to organic dust in the pounding mills leads to an increased prevalence of respiratory symptoms and impaired lung function.


Dry chilli dust, Forced vital capacity, Forced expiratory volume, Peak expiratory flow rate, Pulmonary impairment, Pounding mill


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