Cohort Study on Respiratory and Neurological Disorders among Workers in a Bone Glue Factory in Egypt

MA Al-Batanony, GM Abdel-Rasoul, MA Abu-Salem, IA Al-Ahmar, AS Al-Badry


Background: Glues are strong, liquid adhesive derived from animal tissues. It has been shown that glue sniffing is associated with demyelinating polyneuropathy. The low molecular weight agents which cause occupational lung disease have generally included the isocyanates exposure to which could result in asthma among workers. Toluene is also used widely in glue and adhesive industry and households where toluene exposure and abuse can occur.

Objectives: To study some respiratory and neurological disorders that may arise in workers in a bone glue factory in Queisna industrial zone, Menoufyia governorate, Egypt.

Methods: In a historical cohort study, the exposed participants (n=50) were recruited from workers in a bone glue factory in Queisna industrial zone, Menoufyia governorate. The unexposed group was selected from workers' relatives who had never worked in glue industry. All participants completed a pre-designed questionnaire on personal and occupational histories. Pulmonary function tests as well as electromyography (EMG) were performed for all participants. Urinary hippuric acid was also measure in all participants.

Results: The prevalence of cough, asthmatic attacks and paresthesia were significantly higher among exposed than unexposed participants. Abnormal spirometric measurements (particularly towards obstruction), abnormal EMG and positive urinary hippuric acid were significantly more prevalent among exposed than unexposed group.

Conclusion: Spirometry and EMG should be included in the periodic medical examination for exposed workers for early detection of respiratory and neurological disorders. Urinary hippuric acid could be a useful indicator of the nerve conduction abnormalities and should be measured periodically for these workers.


Adhesive; Nervous system diseases; Electromyography; Hippuric acid

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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