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Asian Journal of Medicine and Health




Background: Approximately three thousand plastic goods manufacturing factories (PGMF) are currently operating in Bangladesh involving numerous workers. Associated health problems of these workers are largely unknown. The key objectives of the current study were identifying plastic chemical exposures related health outcomes in these workers and comparing these outcomes before and after their joining in PGMFs. In addition, we aimed to investigate the relationships between work duration and the prevalence of health ailments among workers.

Method: A cross-sectional study was carried out among factory workers (n=405) at six PGMFs in Gazipur district in Bangladesh. A simple random sampling method had been applied to select participants and data on their self-reported exposures to chemicals and associated respiratory, neurological, and other multiple health outcomes were collected through a validated questionnaire survey. Data were analyzed using different descriptive and inferential statistical tools. The categorical variables and continuous variables were interpreted using frequency distribution and standard deviation (SD) respectively. A Pearson chi-square (χ2) test was applied to evaluate the correlation between work duration and health outcomes. A p-value

Results: The average age and work duration of the workers were 25.63±6.85 and 3.49±3.53 years, respectively, implying that most workers were young, and spent over 10% of their lifetime in PGMFs work. Most common health outcomes reported by the workers were nasal discharges: 60 (14.9%), headaches: 76 (18.9%), fatigues: 112 (27.8%), losses of appetites: 108 (26.8%), urination problems: 61 (13.1%), losses of body weights: 102 (25.3%), and nervousness: 70 (17.4%). Among the common health outcomes only headache (p=0.005); fatigue (p=0.04); urination problem (p=p=0.004) were significantly associated with the work duration. Furthermore, except for hypertension and tarry stool, all health outcomes among workers differ significantly before and after joining in PGMFs.

Conclusion: This study first time identified important health outcomes of the PGMFs workers and generated baseline information on common health outcomes of the PGMFs workers in developing countries like Bangladesh. However, it might be important to identify potential causes of such health outcomes in PGMFs workers considering both biomarkers of exposures and real-time environmental samples to understand the disease pathology and to recommend mitigation measures to be taken by occupational health policymakers and practitioners in developing countries.


Georgia Southern University faculty member, Atin Adhikari co-authored Respiratory, Neurological and Other Health Outcomes among Plastic Factory Workers in Gazipur, Bangladesh.


© 2022 Das et al.; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.