[Frequency of respiratory symptoms in workers in traditional Arab bakeries].

Manar Schafa-Khatib, Noa Weinstein, Rafael Carel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Respiratory complaints are quite common among workers exposed to flour dust. As a rule, such symptoms are not recognized as work-related. A cross-sectional survey of 111 male workers from about 20 traditional Arab bakeries in northern Israel was conducted during 2008. Data collection was performed utilizing a dedicated questionnaire with special emphasis on respiratory symptomatology. The main findings were: as a rule, this is a relatively young group of workers. Most bakeries employ 3-5 workers who perform all the jobs involved (family business). The bakeries are usually a single room where all processes, including selling of the pitahs are performed in one common space. Over 50% of the workers are current smokers. About 45% of the workers indicate respiratory symptoms, moreso among current smokers. About 2/3 of the symptomatic workers believe that occupational exposure to flour dust is causally related to their symptoms, OR =14.9 [95% CI = 5.69-38.84). These findings attest to the need to perform a large scale (and more quantitative) evaluation of this occupational sector, in order to better identify the major risk factors involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-440, 492, 491
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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