RESPIRATORY AND SKIN MANIFESTATIONS IN THE MANUFACTURING OF DETERGENT ENZYME PRODUCTS IN A FACTORY IN THE EASTERN PROVINCE OF SAUDI ARABIA

Dr. KHALID SAAD ALGHAMDI

COLLEGE OF MEDICINE & MEDICAL SCIENCES –  KING FAISAL UNIVERSITY (ALDAMMAM)  – 1992

Objective:

To evaluate the effect of the proteolytic enzymes on workers engaged in detergent manufacturing.

Method:

The study involved 293 subjects (153 exposed & 140 controls).The method used involved a completion of a respiratory symptoms questionnaire, physical examination, spirometry, and a skin test with these enzymes (alcalase, savinase, and termamyle).

Results:

The symptoms found among exposed (productive cough, dyspnea, chest tightness, and wheezing) were seen more among exposed. Nasal polyps and congested throat were significantly more among exposed. Allergic rhinitis seen in 23% of the exposed compared to 8% of controls. Skin sensitization to the proteolytic enzymes was positive in 26.9% of exposed group as compare to none in the controls. The mean FVC and FEV1 of the exposed and controls were both statistically significantly lower their respective predicted values.

Conclusion: working with proteolytic enzymes is associated with an immediate type of skin reaction and respiratory symptoms similar to those of asthma.

Recommendations:

To raise the awareness of the worker to the nature of these enzymes, and adhering to the occupational safety and hygiene rules while handling these enzymes

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