Lung function impact from working in the pre-revolution Libyan quarry industry

Marwan M. Draid, Khaled M. Ben-Elhaj, Ashraf M. Ali, Kendra K. Schmid, Shawn G. Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the lung impact from working within the Libyan quarry industry, and if the length of work impacted the degree of degradation. Eighty three workers from eight silica quarries in the Nafusa Mountains of Libya opted to participate. These quarries were working the upper cretaceous geological structure. Eighty-five individuals who lived in Gharyan City with no affiliation to quarry operations participated as controls. Spirometry variables evaluated were Forced Vital Capacity (FVC), Forced Expiratory Volume at 1.0 second (FEV1), FVC/FEV1 and Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF). Control and exposed groups had no differences in terms of height, weight, or smoking status (p = 0.18, 0.20, 0.98, respectively). Prior to adjustment for other variables, FVC, FEV1, and PEF are all significantly lower in the exposed group (p = 0.003, 0.009, 0.03, respectively). After adjustment for age, height, weight, and smoking status, there remain significant differences between the control and exposed groups for FVC, FEV1, and PEF. This analysis demonstrated that exposure to quarry dust has a detrimental effect on lung function, and that pre-revolution Libyan quarry workers were being exposed. This study shows that any exposure is harmful, as the reduction in lung function was not significantly associated with years of exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5006-5012
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 7 2015


  • Libya
  • Lung function
  • Occupational health
  • Quarry workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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