Assessment of nasal swab samples, environmental microbiological analyses and respiratory function tests of bakery workers working under modern conditions: A brief report

Issever H., Hapcioglu B., OZDILLI K., KOCYIGIT E., KAYMAKCALAN H., Yegenoglu Y., ...More

INDOOR AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT, vol.15, no.2, pp.197-202, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1420326x06063874
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.197-202
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Studies have shown that bakery workers may develop asthma and rhinitis as a result of their occupation and approximately 30% of bakery workers and wheat farmers will become sensitised. This ratio can change depending on the exposure time and a history of atopy. The present study has looked at the relationship between nasal and environmental flora and pulmonary function in such workers to see if it can explain the occurrence of asthma and rhinitis. Workers from three of the largest bakery companies in Istanbul were recruited, a total of 372 people; 223 bakery workers and 149 administrative employees of the same companies as a control group. Face to face interviews were conducted to determine asthma status and all were given physical examinations with nasal flora samples collected by sterile swabs. Aerial samples were taken from administrative and product departments for microscopic examination. Compared to administrative staff, bakery workers had insignificantly more asthma symptoms (p > 0.05). C. albicans was isolated from four (1.9%) nasal samples from bakery workers and one (0.7%) from the control group (p > 0.05). A statistically significant level of wheeze (chi(2) = 4.65, p = 0.03, OR = 2.32 95% CI (1.06-5.07)), suggesting bronchial obstruction, was detected in 28 (13.1%) bakery workers and in nine people (6.1%) from the control group. Looking at smoking and non-smoking groups, a significant decrease was observed for PEF (%) in the smokers and FEV1/FVC (%) in the non-smokers. These results suggest that pulmonary function of bakery workers is slightly impaired even with modern engineering controls.