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Respiratory Health Effects Caused by the Proximity to an Industrially Polluted Area of the Aries River Basin, Transylvania, Romania

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Author(s): Camelia-Maria KANTOR

Journal: Journal of Settlements and Spatial Planning
ISSN 2069-3419

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 49;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: industry | health | respiratory diseases | Turda city

ABSTRACT
This study represents the efforts in identifying a possible connection between the close proximity of one village, Mihai Viteazu, Transylvania, Romania, to the former industrial platform of the Turda city and the causes of the population’s respiratory health condition, study based on survey data. Consequently, 150 health face-to-face interviews were undertaken in Mihai Viteazu in August 2009 (out of which only 117 were relevant) and 50 from the control area, in search for indicators of significant respiratory symptoms due to exposure to chemical compounds and/or conditioned by periods of employment in one or more of the polluting industrial plants. The two main objectives were to first determine whether there was a significant difference between the health of the population living in the exposed area as compared to the control population represented by the Miceşti village, situated on the other side of the two towns, out of the exposed area’s influence, and second, to identify whether those involved in industrial activities would be the most affected. The results concluded that close proximity to the industrial area and employment at the former plants can be associated with higher risk for chronic respiratory diseases, the exposed village registering a 57% of its surveyed population manifesting at least one sign of acute and/or chronic respiratory disease (tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis asthma, pulmonary emphysema) and/or higher incidence of irritant respiratory symptoms. From discussions, it also seems that the population is generally aware of the possible effects, but would still prefer being employed and working for the former plants, the industry representing for most of them employment stability and better living conditions.
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