Respiratory symptoms and lung function in garage workers and taxi drivers

A. Bener, I. Galadari, J. K. Al-Mutawa, F. Al-Maskari, M. Das, M. S.O. Abuzeid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of some respiratory symptoms and possible diseases among occupationally-exposed garage workers and taxi drivers. This study involved 158 garage workers and 165 taxi drivers, matched for age, sex, nationality and duration of employment. The mean age of 158 Indian subcontinent garage workers was 34.4 ± 10.4 years; their mean height and weight were 167.7 ± 6.6 cm and 72.0 ± 12.3 kg respectively, and the mean duration of employment garage workers was 8.8 ± 7.6 years. The mean age of 165 Indian subcontinent male taxi drivers was 34.5 ± 7.7 years, their mean height and weight were 168.7 ± 6.1 cm and 71.3 ± 12.6 kg respectively; and the mean duration of employment was 7.5 ± 5.4 years. The data on chronic respiratory symptoms showed that garage workers had higher prevalence of symptoms than taxi drivers, being significantly greater for chronic phlegm, (p < 0.007); dyspneoa (p < 0.001]; and sinusitis (p < 0.03). A higher prevalence of all acute symptoms was recorded in garage workers than in taxi drivers, although the differences were significant only for throat (p < 0.02), hearing problems (p < 0.002); nose (dryness, bleeding and secretion) (p < 0.008); and low back pain (p < 0.05). Almost all forced spirometric tests in the exposed garage workers were lower than in taxi drivers. The results of stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that only phlegm, sinusitis, hearing problems, nasal catarrh, throat, low back pain, smoking and FEF25-75, variables were statistically significant predictors as risk factors. In conclusion, the present study suggests that a high prevalence of respiratory symptoms is associated with exposure to motor vehicle exhaust emission in garage working places. Long-term working as garage workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), may be associated with the development of chronic respiratory symptoms and have effects on their daily life and health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998


  • Chronic and acute symptoms
  • Garage workers
  • Lung function test
  • Taxi drivers
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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