Document Type : Original Article


1 Department Of Medical Laboratory Science, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun, State.

2 Department Of Medical Laboratory Science, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun

3 Department Of Medical Laboratory Science, School Of Public And Allied Health, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun

4 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.

5 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Health Science, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Nigeria.



Background: Exposure to flour dust has been linked to the emergence of respiratory symptoms. This study assessed the levels of some inflammatory markers and hematological parameters among bakery workers exposed to flour dust in Ota, Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 100 participants (50 bakery workers with exposure to flour dust and 50 non-bakery workers without such exposure) took part in this study. The participants' peak expiratory flow rate was measured using a peak flow meter. Blood samples were assessed for high sensitivity-CRP, interleukin-8, and a complete blood count. The collected data was analyzed using SPSS version 23.0.
Results: The outcomes revealed that bakery workers demonstrated significantly (p≤0.05) elevated levels of high sensitivity-CRP, interleukin-8 concentrations, red blood cells, hemoglobin concentration, packed cell volume, platelets, and lymphocytes compared to non-bakery workers (p≤0.05). Meanwhile; the mean absolute neutrophil count and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio of the bakery workers were found to be significantly (p≤0.05) lower compared to non-bakery workers.
Conclusion: This study underscores the health risks faced by bakery workers exposed to flour dust, as evidenced by alterations in inflammatory markers and hematological parameters. These findings highlight the ongoing pathological processes induced by flour dust exposure, emphasizing the need for preventive measures and occupational health interventions in bakery settings. Enhanced awareness and protective measures are imperative to mitigate the adverse health effects associated with flour dust exposure in occupational environments. Further research is warranted to elucidate the mechanistic pathways underlying these observed alterations and to develop targeted interventions for mitigating occupational health risks in bakery workers.


Main Subjects

  1. Martinelli, A., Salamom, F., Scapellato, M.L., Trevisan, A., Vianello, I., Bizzotto, R., Crivellaro, M.A and Carrieri, M. Occupational exposure to flour dust; Exposure assessment and effectiveness of control measures. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2020, 17(14): 5182.
  2. Stobnicka, A., and Górny, R. L. Exposure to flour dust in the occupational environment. Int. J.Occup.Saf. Ergon. 2015, 21(3); 241–249.
  3. Baatjies, R and Jeebhay, M. F. Baker’s allergy and asthma - A review of the literature. Curr. Allergy and Clin. Immunol, 2013, 26(4); 232–243.
  4. Brant, A. Baker’s asthma. Curr Opin Allergy & Clin Immunol, 2007, 7(2); 152–155.
  5. Said, A. M., Abdelfattah, E., & Almawardi, A. M. Effects on respiratory system due to exposure to wheat flour. Egyptian J. Chest Dis Tuberc. 2017, 66(3), 537–548.
  6. Lau, A. and Tarlo, S.M. Update on the management of occupational asthma and work-exacerbated asthma. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2019, 11(2):188-200.
  7. Lombardo LJ, Balmes JR. Occupational asthma: a review. Environ Health Perspect. 2000; 108 Suppl 4(Suppl 4):697-704.
  8. Tarlo, S. M. Critical aspects of the history of occupational asthma. AACI. 2006, 2(2); 74–77.
  9. Dubini, M., Marraccini, P., Brass, D. M., Patrini, L., and Riboldi, L. Occupational asthma and rhinitis due to wheat flour: Sublingual specific immunotherapy treatment. Medicina Del Lavoro, 2020, 111(3); 203–209.
  10. Pasha, I., Saeed, F., Sultan, M., Batool, R., Aziz, M., & Ahmed, W. Wheat Allergy and Intolerence; Recent Updates and Perspectives. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 2016, 56(1): 13–24.
  11. Lummus, Z. L., Wisnewski, A. V., and Bernstein, D. I. Pathogenesis and Disease Mechanisms of Occupational Asthma. Immunol. Allergy Clin. N. Am. 2011, 31(4); 699–716.
  12. Ebrahimi, M., Heidari-Bakavoli, A.R., Shoeibi, S., Mirhafez, S.R., Moohebati, M., Esmaily, H., Ghazavi, H., Saberi Karimian, M., Parizadeh, S.M.R., Mohammadi, M., Mohaddes Ardabili, H., Ferns, G.A. and Ghayour-Mobarhan, M. Association of Serum hs-CRP Levels With the Presence of Obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, and Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors. 2016; J. Clin. Lab. Anal., 30: 672-676.
  13. Endo H, Akahoshi T, Takagishi K, Kashiwazaki S, Matsushima K. Elevation of interleukin-8 (IL-8) levels in joint fluids of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and the induction by IL-8 of leukocyte infiltration and synovitis in rabbit joints. Lymphokine and cytokine research. 1991; 10(4):245-52.

  1. Samuel OI, Thomas N, Ernest OU, Imelda NN, Elvis NS, et al. Comparison of haematological parameters determined by the sysmex KX-21N automated haematology analyzer and the manual counts. BMC Clinical Pathology, 2010; 10: 3.
  2. Bonsu, W. S., Adei, D., and Agyemang-Duah, W. Exposure to occupational hazards among bakers and their coping mechanisms in Ghana. Cogent Med., 2022, 7(1); 1-18.
  3. Roopakala, M. S., Chandrashekara, S., Pushpa, K., Chickbllapur R. W., Sandeep, T., Kusuma, D., Mohan, R., and Vasantha, K. Can Bronchial asthma be classified based on the immunological status? Lung India. 2011, 28(2); 110-113.
  4. Hwang, J. H., Yoon, J. H., Shin, J. H., Choi B. S., Lee, Y. L., Lee, J. S and Lee, K., M. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and inflammatory biomarkers in retired workers exposed to inorganic dusts.  Environ. Health Sci.2013; 5, 86–91.
  5. Kimata, H., and Lindley, I. Detection of plasma interleukin-8 in atopic dermatitis. Arch Dis Child. 1994, 70(2); 119-122.
  6. Al-Katib SR & AL-Hakkak ZM. Pulmonary function, hematological parameters and inflammatory markers in workers exposed to wheat flour dust in Najaf City. American Journal of Research Communication, 2016, 4(10): 1-9.
  7. Tollingi, S., Nakoe M. R., Gobel, I. A., Senghe, J., Keman, S., Sudiana, I. K., Yudhastuti, R., Mukono and Azizah, R. Effect of inhaling of limestone dust exposure on increased level of IL-8 serum and pulmonary function decline to workers of limestone mining industry. Int. refereed J. Eng. Sci. 2014, 3(8); 66-72.
  8. Ajayeoba, A. O., Yekini, I. B., Badmus, B. S., and Ojo, O.O. Asseessment of peak expiratory flow rate of bakers in Osun, Lagos and Oyo states, Nigeria. NIJOTECH, 2021, 40(5). 779-787.
  9. Saleh, M., Mohammed, A., Lateff, N., Latoofi, N. & Saleh, E. The Effect of high temperature on the haematological parameters of Bakery Workers. Sys. Rev. Pharm. 2020, 11 (2):100-103.
  10. Said, A. M., Abdelfattah, E., & Almawardi, A. M. Effects on respiratory system due to exposure to wheat flour. Egyptian J. Chest Dis Tuberc. 2017, 66(3), 537–548.
  11. Forget, P., Khalifa, C., Defour, J.P., Latinne, D., Van-Pel, M.C and De Kock, M. What is the normal value of the neutrophil-to- lymphocyte ratio? BMC Resaerch Notes. 2017, 10 (12): 1-4.
  12. Christian, S.G., Chukuigwe-Igbere, O.E., Agbam, E.T., Jacob, R.B and Moore-Igwe, B.W. Effect of Smoke Inhalation on Methaemoglobin, Oxyhaemoglobin and Packed cell volume of plantain (‘bole’) Roasters in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. Haematol Int J, 2022, 6:1.
  13. Watanabe, M., Noma, H., Kurai, J., Sano, H., Hantan, D., Ueki, M., Kitano, H., and Shimizu, E. A panel of study of airborne particulate matter composition versus concentration: Potential for inflammatory response and impaired pulmonary function in children. Allergol. Int. 2017, 66(1); 52-58.