Occupational health hazards of stone quarry workers of Nagaland, India
Background: Occupational health is a neglected public health issue among healthcare workers in developing countries. The quarrying sector poses large risks to occupational health and safety.
Objectives: The objectives of this study are to investigate the impact of stone dust on cardiovascular and pulmonary health of stone quarry workers among an indigenous population of north-east India.
Sample and Methods: This study was conducted in Wokha district of Nagaland, North-East India. A total number of 152 Lotha male stone quarry workers with age cohort 18-60 years and an ethnicity and age matching 152 adult males as the controls were selected for the present study. Blood pressures (both systolic and diastolic), oxygen saturation, pulse rate and forced vital capacity (FVC) were measured on each participant. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated following standard equation. Multivariate multiple regression (MMR) analysis was used to test the effect of stone dust on the workers.
Results: Preliminary statistics showed significant difference between the exposed and control groups in body weight, BMI, oxygen saturation and pulse rate (p<0.05). MMR results suggested that quarry workers revealed significantly (p<0.0001) lower systolic blood pressure (SBP), oxygen saturation and vital capacity of lungs and higher pulse rate than their counterpart control group.
Conclusions: The study concluded that the exposure to stone dust among the quarry workers perhaps leads to deterioration of their cardiovascular and pulmonary health.
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