If you are a pump attendant: Don’t smoke

The study was aimed to find whether fuel station attendants manifest a further decrease in lung function when compared to other full-time workers working outdoors

Fuel station attendants who smoke show a significant drop in lung function when compared to non-smoking attendants, a study published in the Malta Medical Journal shows. 

The study was aimed to find whether fuel station attendants manifest a further decrease in lung function when compared to other full-time workers working outdoors and whether smoking tobacco manifests a further decrease in lung function among attendants.

Lung function of 30 fuel station attendants was compared to 30 outdoor workers, the latter made up of AFM recruits. Half of both groups were participants who smoke tobacco.

The study found that although non-smokers among petrol station attendants did experience lower lung functions, the difference was not statistically significant. But it also found that tobacco smokers among fuel attendents showed a statistically significant drop in all three lung function parameters when compared to the armed forces recruits.

According to the study exposure to volatile fuel compounds and roadway motor vehicle exhaust leads to a higher risk of chronic lung disease and carcinogenesis. Tobacco smoking further accelerates this process. 

The study concludes that having more automated fuel pumps would help in reducing long hours of exposure for fuel station attendants.

“In light of the health hazards that a FSA faces, this job can be made redundant as in many regions in first world countries since every motor vehicle driver can operate an automated pump”. 

The study was written by Jabob Vella from the Department of Family Medicine and Manwel Borg, a lance bombardier in the Armed Forces of Malta.

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