Background: Development of our country has led to rapid urbanization and there is increasing use of automobiles that is aggravating environmental pollution. Occupational exposure to automobile exhaust and industrial smokes has been shown to affect functioning of different systems of the body. The present study was taken up to assess the Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT) in auto rickshaw drivers of Gulbarga city. Methods: Fifty non –smoker male auto drivers in the age group of 20–50 years for more than 5 years of auto driving experience formed the study group. Age and sex matched individuals not exposed to auto rickshaw driving [administrative staff] formed the control group. Pulmonary function parameters FVC, FEV1, FEV1%, PEFR, PIFR, FEF25-75, FEF50 and MVV were assessed using a computerized Spiro meter during their working hours and were statistically analyzed. Results: There was a highly significant decrease in FVC and FEV1 in the study group compared to control group. The decrease in FEV1%, PIFR, FEF25-75 and FEF50 were statistically significant but the decrease in PEFR and MVV were statistically nonsignificant. Conclusion: Our findings point towards the adverse effects of vehicle exhaust on lung functions, mainly on lower airways with restrictive pattern of disease.
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