THE PREVALENCE OF RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS AMONG WORKERS IN A DOMESTIC WASTE COLLECTION CENTER IN KLANG VALLEY, MALAYSIA
Background: Domestic waste collectors are potentially exposed to many occupational hazards which might result in health problems including respiratory illnesses. The severity of the problem might differ between developed and developing countries due to the protective measures taken for the workers. Therefore the objective of this research was to determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among workers who were working in a domestic waste collection centre, in Klang Valley, Malaysia.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out for one week period in November 2014. Those aged between 18 to 60 years old and without any chronic respiratory illness have been included in the study. Data of respiratory symptoms were obtained using interview-guided questionnaire.
Result: A total of 111 workers responded out of 130 with response rate of 85%, to the questionnaire with mean age (±SD) of 40.38 years old. Majority of them were Malay with average working experience up to 6.3 (±3.62) years. Their average working duration was 11.27 ((±1.18) hours per day and majority of them had 1 to 5 days of absentees in the last 6 months. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms was 56.8%. Age of workers (p = 0.03; 95% CI), age started working (p = 0.003; 95% CI) and days of absentees (p < 0.001; 95% CI) were significantly associated with respiratory symptoms among the workers.
Conclusion: There were respiratory health implications among the workers and appeared to be relative effect on those who have direct contact and with longer period of exposure to domestic waste. Nevertheless, compliance of workers to preventive measures is crucial and emphasis on further intervention is important in reducing the exposure and to prevent the incidence of adverse health effects among the workers.Keywords: Domestic waste, respiratory symptoms, staff, Klang Valley, Malaysia