John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Respiratory health of dust-exposed Congolese construction workers in Lubumbashi Volume 16, issue 6, November-December 2017

1 Institut supérieur des techniques médicales de Lubumbashi (ISTM-Lubumbashi)
Département de la recherche
Route Kasapa, BP 4748
République démocratique du Congo
2 Université de Kamina
Unité de toxicologie
Département de santé publique
Mulangu 11, BP 279
République démocratique du Congo
3 University of Kochi
Graduate School of Health Sciences & Nursing
Zipcode : 781-8515
2751-1 Ike
4 Université de Lubumbashi
Faculté de médecine
Département de pédiatrie
Route Kasapa, BP 1825
République démocratique du Congo
5 École de Santé Publique
Université de Lubumbashi
République démocratique du Congo
6 Institute for Work and Health
Service of Occupational Medicine
University of Lausanne and Geneva
CH-1066 Epalinges-Lausanne
* Tirés à part

Respiratory complaints are common in workers exposed to dust. In this study, we sought to determine the prevalence of respiratory complaints among dust-exposed construction workers in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in comparison to unexposed office workers. This cross-sectional analytical study included 224 construction workers (exposed group) and 242 office workers from public administrative services (control group). Data on respiratory complaints came from a standardized questionnaire, and lung function was evaluated with a Peak Flow Meter. The prevalence of respiratory complaints was higher in construction workers than controls: wheezing (21.4% vs 7.9%), cough (39.3% vs 2.5%), dyspnea after effort (40.2% vs 2.5%), morning sputum (41.5% vs 3.3%), and rhinitis (79.0% vs 17.8%, respectively). After adjustment for age, education level, and smoking, construction work was associated with respiratory complaints such as cough, sputum, wheezing and rhinitis (p<0.05). On the other hand, peak flow rate was significantly lower in dust-exposed construction workers than in controls (439.95±89.58 and 493.23±67.39, respectively) (p<0.05). This study showed high prevalence of respiratory complaints in Congolese construction workers. The findings suggest the need to improve work environment conditions in construction sites in DRC.