Volume 7, Issue 2 (summer 2010)                   ioh 2010, 7(2): 66-58 | Back to browse issues page

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, alrchoobin@sums.ac.ir
Abstract:   (11022 Views)

Background and aims

The main purpose of this study was to assess the acute and chronic effects of occupational exposure to low levels of formaldehyde on respiratory health.


This historical cohort study was conducted at a local melamine-formaldehyde resin producing plant. The study population consisted of seventy exposed and 24 non-exposed (referent) employees. In this study, a questionnaire was used to evaluate and determined the prevalence of respiratory symptoms. Atmospheric concentrations of formaldehyde were measured at different areas of the plant. Similarly, using a spirometer, the parameters of pulmonary function were measured during exposure and a few days after exposure ceased.


Atmospheric concentrations of formaldehyde marginally exceeded current permissible levels. Additionally, significant decrements in some parameters of pulmonary function, both during and after exposure were noted. However, a relative recovery in lung

functional capacity observed following temporary cessation of exposure. Furthermore, exposed workers had higher prevalencerates of regular cough, wheezing, phlegm, shortness of breath, chest tightness and episodes of chest illness associated with cold.


The findings of this study indicate that exposure to formaldehyde may induce respiratory symptoms, acute partially reversible and chronic irreversible functional impairments of the lungs.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Air pollution
Received: 2010/08/8 | Published: 2010/07/15