OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH : INDIAN SCENARIO
Studies carried out recently in relation to 1241 cotton mill workers. 789 asbestos workers and 4129 community subjects are briefly presented herein which depicts the occupational health scenario in India. The prevalence of byssinosis was 24 percent, 21 percent and 10 percent in 3 mills (semi-modern, old and new mills) respectively. The prevalence of bronchitis in these mills were 18 percent, 22 percent and 12 percent in the dust exposed departments. Byssinosis is claimed to be a distinct disease. Asbestos related radiographic changes were seen in 36.1 percent workers. Various analyses done on 4 communities in relation to respiratory symptoms, mortality due to chronic respiratory and cardiac diseases were correlated with air pollutant levels. Daily health diaries recording fluctuations in respiratory symptoms indicated that symptoms exacerbated when SO2 levels were above 50 ug/m3. The other factors affecting health morbidity but to a smaller degree were age, nutrition, occupation, smoking and cooking fuel. However the role of air pollution was judged to be the largest.
R.K.Trivedy and N.S.Raman