Occupational Asthma Reference

Baatjies R, Meijster T, Heederik D, Sander I, Jeebhay MF, Effectiveness of interventions to reduce flour dust exposures in supermarket bakeries in South Africa, Occup Environ Med, 2014;71:,10.1136/oemed-2013-101971

Keywords: flour, baker, control, air measurements, south africa

Known Authors

Dick Heederik, Institute of Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht Dick Heederik

Mohammed Jeebhay, Cape Town Mohammed Jeebhay

Tim Meijster, Tim Meijster

If you would like to become a known author and have your picture displayed along with your papers then please get in touch from the contact page. Known authors can choose to receive emails when their papers receive comments.

Abstract

Rationale
A recent study of supermarket bakery workers in South Africa demonstrated that 25% of workers were sensitised to flour allergens and 13% had baker's asthma. Evidence on exposure reduction strategies using specifically designed interventions aimed at reducing the risk of baker's asthma is scarce.

Objectives
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of different control measures to reduce airborne flour dust exposure using a randomised design.

Methods
A group-randomised study design was used to assign 30 bakeries of a large supermarket chain store to two intervention groups and a control group, of which 15 bakeries were studied. Full-shift environmental personal samples were used to characterise exposure to flour dust and wheat and rye allergens levels pre-intervention (n=176) and post-intervention (n=208).

Results
The overall intervention effect revealed a 50% decrease in mean flour dust, wheat and rye allergen exposure. The reduction in exposure was highest for managers (67%) and bakers (47%), and lowest for counterhands (23%). For bakers, the greatest reduction in flour dust was associated with control measures such as the use of the mixer lid (67%), divider oil (63%) or focused training (54%). However, the greatest reduction (80%) was observed when using a combination of all control measures.

Conclusions
A specially designed intervention strategy reduced both flour dust and allergen levels. Best results were observed when combining both engineering controls and training. Further studies will investigate the long-term health impact of these interventions on reducing the disease burden among this group of bakers.

Full Text

Full text of this reference not available

Please Log In or Register to add the full text to this reference

Associated Questions

Registered users of this website have associated this reference with the following questions. This association is not a part of the BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines.

Is the incidence of occupational asthma reduced by controlling exposure?
burgeps doesnt really answer the question, but shows that flour levels can be halved by good in store control. This is unlikely to be enough to significantly reduce sensitisation

Please Log In or Register to put forward this reference as evidence to a question.

Comments

Please sign in or register to add your thoughts.


Oasys and occupational asthma smoke logo