Working conditions and related neuropsychiatric problems among shoemakers in Turkey: Do child workers differ from others?

Elci O., Yener G., Ucku R.

Indian journal of occupational and environmental medicine, vol.11, no.1, pp.9-14, 2007 (Scopus) identifier identifier


Objective: In this cross-sectional study, we investigated working conditions and related neuropsychiatric problems of shoemakers, including child workers, working in poor conditions with high health risks. Clinical diagnosis was not the objective of this study. Materials and Methods: We collected data from 318 workers ranging from 8-66 years of age. We evaluated working conditions, neuropathy symptoms and signs; urinary 2,5-hexanedione was used to estimate hexane exposure. We used the Zung depression scale for adult shoemakers to evaluate depression. Results: All workshops employed fewer than 10 workers with median daily work duration of 12h. Smoking and alcohol consumption were high among all workers including children. Peripheral neuropathy symptoms and signs were observed in 88 workers (27.8%) and it was related to alcohol consumption. Sixty-eight workers (47.9%) had depression and it was associated with daily work duration. Conclusion: Extremely poor, unhygienic, working conditions and a high prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders were the main problems observed among shoemakers. A high number of child workers increased the scale of these observed problems.