Effect of Exposure to Airborne Chalk Dust Particles on Students’ Respiratory Function
The use and reuse function of chalkboard produces chalk dust particles in the classroom entering into the classroom occupants’ respiratory system through their mouths and nasopharyngeal regions while talking or breathing. The potential impact of dust particles of the respiratory system includes airflow resistance, lung volumes impairment and lung damage. This study measured the expired volume of air from the lungs during a guided maximal expiration to determine the effect of chalk dust particles on the ultimate lung function in the classroom. The sociodemographic characteristics of the participants were assessed using oral interview while the assessment of the anthropometric data and the participants’ lung function indices was done through the use of a stadiometer and digital spirometer, respectively. This study employed a quasiexperimental research design. It involved the exposed (n = 120) and control (n = 120) groups selected from classrooms where chalkboards and marker boards were used, respectively. The results revealed that among the lung functions indices investigated, there were statistical significant differences between the exposed and the control groups in FEV1 (%) (0.002), PEFR (L/s) (0.000), FEF25 (L/s) (0.000) FEF75 (L/s) (0.000), FEF25-75 (L/s) (0.000), FEV1 (%) (0.002) but no significant differences in FEV1 (0.135), FVC (0.493) and FVC (L) (0.506). Therefore, chalk dust particles from chalkboard usage had a negative effect on the respiratory function (lung function indices) in the classrooms.