Study Effect of Camphor fumes on the Pulmonary Functions

Mmehibe F O1, Alagwu D N2, Ezekwe A S2, Nwankwo A A1, Alagwu E A2

1Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Abia State University, PMB 2000 Uturu, Abia State, Nigeria

2Department  of Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Medicine ,Imo State University PMB 2000, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

Received: 09-Jul-2018 , Accepted: 28-Aug-2018

Keywords: Pulmonary functions, Camphor fumes, Occupation



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How to Cite this Article

Mmehime FO, Alagwu DN, Ezekwe AS, Nwankwo AA, Alagwu EA. Study Effect of Camphor fumes on the Pulmonary Functions. UKJPB. 2018; 6(4): 38-41.


Effect of occupational exposure to  camphor fumes on the pulmonary function was studied using one hundred (100) selected Igbo women working in camphor industry in Aba,Abia State, Sought East Nigeria, exposed to camphor fumes for over 15years (test subjects). They were compared with age, body weight and height marched control who were mostly house wives and civil servants not exposed to any known fumes or air pollutants and with no history of chest infections or spinal cord injury. Lung function indices investigated to include  Forced Vital Capacity (FVC), Forced Expiratory Volume per second (FEV1),ration of FEV1/FVC expressed as percentage (FEV1%)  and Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR). The study which lasted for 4 months, was carried out using a Vitalograph Spirometer and Peak  Expiratory Flow Meter. Results obtained  showed  statistically significant reduction in lung function indices (FVC,FEV1 and PEFR)  for workers exposed to camphor  fumes (test)  compared to the  control subjects(P<0.001).  However,FEV1% in the Test group was 89.1% compared with the control (98.0%).Although both groups appeared normal and within normal values with no statistical difference but in some lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis and other similar lung conditions,FEV1% may  appear normal, yet there is derangement  in pulmonary  functions. This is not the case in this present study which showed restrictive pattern of lung defect as shown by the significant statistical results. The result of mean values of anthropometric parameters which included age, height, body weight and body mass index obtained showed that  the test and control subjects were statistically not significant when compared (P>0.05). It was not possible to determine the effects of environmental factors like carbon dioxide (CO2) carbon monoxide (CO) and other gaseous fumes emitted during the processing period. It is therefore concluded that camphor fumes contributed significantly to the disorder observed in this study.