Center for Research on Occupational Diseases (CROD), Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran.
Background: Automobile spray painting is considered a high-risk occupation for respiratory diseases. The present survey aimed to assess the effects of automobile paint vapors on spirometric parameters among workers of a painting workshop in a large automobile manufacturing plant in Iran. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 820 workers of an automobile manufacturing plant, including 431 spray painters (case group) and 389 assembly line workers (control group). Spirometry was conducted for all participants under standard conditions, according to the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Clinical Practice Guidelines. The forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), FEV1/FVC, and forced expiratory flow at 25% and 75% of the pulmonary volume (FEF25-75) were reported. Results: Painters with more than ten years of work experience had significantly lower predicted values of FEV1/FVC (P= 0.005), FEV1 (P=0.008), and FEF25-75 (P=0.003), compared to the control group. Also, painters who were exposed to solvent-based paints were not significantly different from those exposed to water-based paints in terms of spirometric parameters (P>0.05). Conclusion: The results indicated the impact of automobile spray painting on the spirometric parameters. A slight decrease in the mean values of these parameters calls for attention to occupational safety, regular medical examinations, and effective measures.