Turkish Thoracic Journal
Original Article

Respiratory Symptoms and Pulmonary Functions of Cleaners Working in a Hospital


Department of Chest Diseases, Pamukkale University School of Medicine, Denizli, Turkey


Pamukkale University Medical Faculty, Biostatistics, Denizli, Turkey


Pamukkale University Medical Faculty, Pulmonary Medicine, Denizli, Turkey

Turk Thorac J 2007; 8: Turkish Respiratory Journal 19-22
Read: 132 Downloads: 103 Published: 14 October 2021

Objectives: To evaluate respiratory symptoms among cleaners work­ing in a hospital and compare the results of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) of cleaners with a control group who were not exposed to clean­ing products at work.

Design and Setting: Data were collected from 66 cleaners who work at the same university hospital. A questionnaire about respiratory complaints was administered in a person to per­son interview. PFTs were conducted to all cleaners. Control subjects were office workers at the same hospital and had similar age, sex, smoking habit, social and economic status. The same questionnaire and PFTs were also performed to the control group.

Measurements and Results: The mean age of 66 cleaners was 31 3±6.7yr. Control group comprised 44 office workers with a mean age of 31.1 ±7.1 yr. Among cleaners 32% defined wheezing and 24% defined chest tight­ness. These symptoms were significantly higher in the study group when compared with the control group (p=0.030 and p=0.018 re­spectively). The mean % predicted of FEV/FVC and FEF25.75 of the cleaners were found to be significantly lower than the control group (p=0.0001, and p=0.004 respectively).

Conclusions: Employment in hospital cleaning was found to be associated with increased res­piratory symptoms and decline in some of the PFT results. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study from our country which evaluates respiratory symptoms and PFTs of cleaners who work in hospital. Further research is needed to identify the specific exposures responsible for increased respiratory symptoms in cleaners working in hospitals.

EISSN 2149-2530