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韓國勤勞者들의 健康診斷結果報告書

Result of Physical Examination of Laborers in Korea

한국의 산업의학 1963년 2권 9호 p.23 ~ 32
최현,
소속 상세정보
최현 (  ) - 가톨릭산업의학연구소

Abstract


Leaded gasoline is widely used for industrial purposes in Korea. It very frequently serves as solvents for various materials and abluents for machines. In rubber shoe factories, female workers are packed in small spaces while working(50-200 female workers work in a single room), and under their very noses cans are left open which contain rubber glue whose main solvent is leaded gasoline. This type of rubber glue has as its component leaded gasoline amounting to 50-70%. The consumption of leaded gasoline per worker during 8 working hours amounts to 400-600 ㏄. A female worker uses a small wooden spoon with which she applies rubber glue to rubber pieces before joining them together. Usually, the work in rubber factories is sedentary, and two lines, each line having 5-7 persons, cace each other with a distnace of 1-1.5 meters between them, and each line is about 10 meters long. In such work-shop, ventilation is usually poor. They continuously inhale, if little vapor of leaded gasoline during the duration of their work, and sometimes, their hands are dirtied with rubber glue.
Subjects selected for this survey are those who have an experience of more than two months in rubber goods manufacturing. 80% of them have an experience of more than two years in rubber goods factories. Their ages range from a low of 18 years to a high of 47 years, averaging 25.6 years. As a control group we selected 257 female workers who work in a rubber plant but do not handle leaded gasoline. (this factory has various departments including rubber shoe manufacturing departement, tire manufacturing department, fabric-for-tire department, plastic department, etc.)
Table 2 (see page 27)shows part of the results of this survey reached through individual interview on 10 major symptoms of mental manifestations which predominantly appear in acute intoxication by tetra-ethyl lead. According to table 2, the ratio of frequency (in accumulated average) between workers in rubber shoe manufacturing departments and these working in other departments are insomnia 14.3% : 1.2%, bad dream 41.4% : 17.5%, talkativeness 20.9% : 4.3%, state of anxiety 18.4% : 5.0%, dizziness 48.6% : 35.8, tremor 8.7% : 4.6%, headache 42.3% : 2.1%, nausea or vomiting in the morning 21.7% : 5.4%, hallucination 10.9% : 3.1%, and diplopia 11.7% : 2.7%.
As for the frequency in which several symptoms mentioned above happen simultaneously to a single person (Table 3, see page 28), three or more symptoms occurred with a rate of 52.2% : 15.2%, five or more symptoms, 27.6% : 4.7%, seven or more symptoms, 17.8% : 1.2%. Table 4 (see page 29) shows findings of blood tests on 26 workers who have eight or more remarkable signs of the above mentioned. The findings show marked anemias. Most of the cases were characterized by anisocytosis or microcytosis, lymphocytosis and eosinophilia, but punctate basophilia could not be seen. There were few cases of hypotension. As a result of findings on the weight averages of both groups, no significant differences were found in the loss of weight.
Table 5(see page 30) shows the results of examination of blood specific gravity. As a result of examination of 1977 workers from rubber shoe manufacturing department and 4599 workers from other departments such as textile mills, woolen goods factories, confectionaries, it was found that the ratio of those having a blood specific gravity of less than 1.052 is 12.5-26.3% : 1.1-5.0%. This indicates that some elements which adversely affect blood exist in rubber shoe industry. The above signs may be attributed elsewhere to CS₂found in rubber industry, however, the same conclusion does not apply in Korea because leaded gasoline, instead of CS₂, is used in rubber shoe manufacturing. The author surmises that the above findings indicate very slowly developing chronic intoxication by tetra-ethyl lead, and that, in this case, unlike in the case of acute intoxication, a marked change occur in blood. According to what was described by those who complained several mental manifestation, such signs disappear after a temporary withdrawal from work for a period ranged from one to one and a half months, but the same signs reappear after a period of one to two months of resumption of the work.
Cases of similar signs, though few, were found among painters who handled, for a long time, paint diluted with leaded gasoline, and workers cleaned machine parts with leaded gasoline for a number of years.

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