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Assessment of Baking industries in a Developing Country: The common Hazards, Health challenges, control measures and Association to Asthma

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria Nsukka, NIGERIA
  • 2 Department of Community Medicine, Enugu State University, College of Medicine, Park lane, Enugu, NIGERIA

Int. Res. J. Medical Sci., Volume 2, Issue (7), Pages 1-5, July,28 (2014)


The baking industry is prone to occupational health challenges like allergy and musculoskeletal disorders. The present study aimed at examining the prevalence of workplace health problems and relationship to control measures among bakers in a developing country. It was a cross-sectional descriptive study done in 2013 in Aba South Local Government area, Nigeria using a structured questionnaire. Out of a total of 36 bakeries, 24 bakeries were selected by simple random method. All the bakers in these selected bakeries were then studied. A total of 135 bakers were studied, 85 (63%) were males. The modal age range was 21 – 25 years and over 70% had secondary school education. Majority of the respondents had worked 5 years and about half of the bakers worked an average of between 7 and 12 hours a day. Also 119 (88.1%) were aware that bakery can cause health problems. Musculoskeletal disorders were reported by 21(15.6%) while 20(14.8%) respondents were asthmatic. Nine of the asthmatics claimed worsening of symptoms during work. Years of service did not significantly influence likelihood of developing asthma. However, prevalence of asthma was significantly lower among those that frequently wore facemask ( = 5.042, p = 0.02). Rashes and skin irritation occurred in 16 (11.9%) of the respondents some of whom used personal protective equipment (PPEs). Prevalence of occupational asthma can be reduced by wearing facemask at work. Other health problems were not significantly affected by PPEs.


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