Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 62-64

Work-related health problems in salt workers of Rajasthan, India

1 Desert Medicine Research Centre, (ICMR), Jodhpur - 342005, India
2 National Institute of Occupational Health, (ICMR), Ahmedabad -380016, India

Correspondence Address:
Raman Sachdev
Desert Medicine Research Centre, New Pali Road, Jodhpur - 342 005
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.27301

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Background: About 20,000 men and women are engaged in the production of salt in Rajasthan alone, which is an important unorganized sector. The salt workers are exposed to adversities of environmental conditions as well as salt in the environment. There is a lack of information about their occupational health problems. Aims: The study aimed to identify work-related health problems experienced by the salt workers. Settings and Design: Data were collected in the health camps held near salt sites. Materials and Methods: Workers of salt manufacturing units were invited for their free health examination. Statistical Analysis: Analysis of the data was carried out using Epi-Info 2002 software. Results: Prevalence of ophthalmic symptoms was 60.7%, that of dermatological symptoms was 43.8% and symptoms like headache, giddiness, breathlessness, muscular and joint pains were experienced by 52.1% salt workers. The ophthalmic problems were most common, probably due to irritation by direct sunlight and its glare caused by salt crystals and brine as well as irritation caused by fine salt particles suspended in the air of the working environment. Traumatic ulcers, dermatitis, muscular and joint pains, headache and giddiness were other more common symptoms observed among the workers. Prevalence of hypertension was 12.0%. Conclusions: Looking at the large number of salt workers exposed to salt and facing occupational health problems, there is a need for developing a mechanism for prevention of these problems in them.


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