Textile workers are at risk of occupational asthma and respiratory irritation from exposure to process dust, say doctors
BENGALURU; November 23, 2018
Hospital reports in the city show that over 50 per cent of cotton textile workers had one or more respiratory symptoms. Pulmonologists at the Raja Rajeshwari hospital said that they had recorded over 4000 cases in cotton industry workers in the last five years.
Dr Md Majeed Pasha, pulmonologist at the hospital said, “Those working in the textile and laundry Industries and their ancillary functions can experience health problems due to breathing in various dusts, fibres or fumes.”
Textile workers are at risk of respiratory irritation from breathing fumes such as chlorine, hypochlorite, and ammonia and sulphur dioxide, doctors said. Long term occupational exposure to cotton dust is associated with respiratory symptoms and loss of pulmonary function, they added.
Vishnuappa M, Worker in Arvind mills cotton industry said, “It has been 14 years that I am working in cotton industry, every time when we start weaving the clothes, a dust comes out, which directly goes in to my lungs. Many workers have fallen ill in the past and some have to leave the field because of this disease.”
Dr. Pasha suggested that they wear special masks to protect themselves. He said. “The labour laws must mandate workers to wear special masks developed for the purpose.”
K.H Nayak, regional director, Karnataka Labour Development Board said, “The education and training of the labourers is important, and the laws must mandate the company owners to provide safety equipment.”