Knowledge of Chemical Hazards and Prevalence of Darkroom Diseases among Darkroom Technicians and Assistants in Southeast, Nigeria
Mark C. Okeji, Felicitas U. Idigo, AngelMary C. Anakwue and Uloma Nwogu
DOI : 10.3844/amjsp.2015.27.30
American Medical Journal
Volume 6, Issue 2
Darkroom technicians and assistants are exposed daily to x-ray processing chemicals. These chemicals contain known irritants which can cause some disease symptoms to its handlers. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge of chemical hazards and prevalence of darkroom diseases among darkroom technicians and assistants in Southeast, Nigeria. The study adopted cross-sectional survey. A total of 105 darkroom technicians and assistants who met the inclusion criteria in the 10 tertiary hospitals in Southeast, Nigeria were enlisted in the study. Data were collected using researcher-developed questionnaire and on-the-spot assessment of adequacy of ventilation in the darkroom. The questionnaire sought data on demographic variables, knowledge of the constituents of the processing chemicals, adherences to operating guidelines, knowledge of possible side effects, any observed sudden episodes of ill health and presence of workshops for new employees and older staff. The reliability of the instrument was conducted using test re-test in two tertiary hospitals in Southwest Nigeria. The internal consistency was calculated using Cronbach alpha which yielded a co-efficient of 0.82. A total of 105 questionnaires were administered and 100 copies properly completed and returned giving a return rate of 95.2%. 72% of the respondents had knowledge (mean = 3.20±0.71) of chemical hazard associated with x-ray processing chemicals while 34% had knowledge (mean = 3.12±1.3) of the constituents of the processing chemicals. Forty-four respondents (44%) always read the enclosed Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) (mean = 2.57±1.1) before mixing the chemicals. The prevalence of darkroom disease among darkroom technicians and assistant in Southeast, Nigeria from our study was 68%. There were no significant differences (p>0.05) on the knowledge of darkroom disease, constituents of the processing chemicals and attention to Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) among darkroom technicians and assistants of different educational levels. There was high knowledge of chemical hazards among darkroom technicians and assistants from our study. However poor knowledge of the constituents of the processing chemicals and poor attention to the MSDS were noted to contribute to increase in the prevalence of the diseases.
© 2015 Mark C. Okeji, Felicitas U. Idigo, AngelMary C. Anakwue and Uloma Nwogu. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.