Estimation of Pulmonary Functions and Cardiovascular Indices among Workers in Al-Samawa Oil Refinery

Zaid Makki Mohammed AL-Hakkak

International Journal of Biomedicine. 2023;13(4):329-333.
DOI: 10.21103/Article13(4)_OA16
Originally published December 5, 2023


Background: Oil refinery employees suffer from exposure to fumes from petrol that contain harmful chemicals that can hurt the lungs and cardiovascular system. This research aimed to assess workers' health at the Al-Samawa oil refinery in Iraq, specifically their pulmonary function and cardiovascular wellness.
Methods and Results: Sixty workers at the Al-Samawa oil refinery, with a mean exposure duration of 8.7±4.23 years, were compared to sixty non-exposed healthy participants (the control group) of the same age, height, and weight.
Workers at the Al-Samawa oil refinery were divided into three subgroups of twenty each based on their work: production workers (PW), operation workers (OW), and technical workers (TW). Pulmonary function was evaluated using a spirometer, and blood pressure was recorded using a digital wrist cuff monitor. The current study demonstrated that there was a highly significant drop in the mean values of FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC%, PEFR, and FEF25-75% of employees at the Al-Samawa oil refinery, in comparison with the control. According to our findings, the mean values of FVC and FEV1 among PW and OW were significantly lower than the control values. In addition, among OW and TW, FEV1 and FEV1/FVC significantly decreased, compared to control. Furthermore, the mean values of PEFR and FEF25%-75% in OW were significantly lower than the control. Mean FVC, PEFR, and FEF25%-75% values were significantly lower in OW than in PW and TW.  Furthermore, the mean values of FEV1 and FEV1/FVC in OW were significantly lower than in PW. Systolic BP and diastolic BP were significantly higher in the Al-Samawa oil refinery workers than in the control.
Conclusion: The Al-Samawa oil refinery workers have impaired respiratory functions. In addition, the lung function of those working in the operations department was significantly lower than that of individuals working in other occupations. Exposure to petrol vapors in the workplace is associated with increased BP.

pulmonary functions • blood pressure • air pollution • petrol
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Received August 12, 2023.
Accepted September 19, 2023.
©2023 International Medical Research and Development Corporation.