IMPACT OF TRADITIONAL METHOD OF SALT PRODUCTION ON THE VISUAL ORGANS OF THE SALTPAN WORKERS IN THOOTHUKUDI AREAA. AIVIUTHA JAISHEEBA, R. SORNARAJ AND A. J. A. RANJIT SINGH
A study was carried out to assess the occupational hazards created by the traditional method of salt production and saltpan environment on the saltpan workers of Thoothukudi. area. The study mainly focused its attention on the impact of saltpan environment on the functioning of the vital sense organ, the eye. The various hazardous impacts were assessed by direct interview with the workers by giving questionnaire and with the help of the screening test conducted by an ophthalmologist. Totally 490 subjects were turned up to the study. The major disorders observed were eye irritation, cataract, reddening of eye, conjunctivitis, long sight and short sight. As far as the general eye disorders are concerned about 56% of the workers were affected. Among the affected about 41..8% were affected by short sight and only 4% were affected by long-sight. About 21`0 of the individuals were developed cataract in their eye. The study concluded that the entirely different and extreme environment in the saltpan could be the reason for the large percentage of eye disorders among the workers. Even today the age old traditional method of salt production is followed., which is crude one, providing no protection to the workers resulted in occupational illness.
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