Accepted paper:

A comparative study of the impact of occupational hazards on the health of brass working communities in Orissa, Eastern India


Debasis Kumar Mondal (West Bengal State University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper mainly focus on the comparative study of occupational health hazards among two brass working communities, one practice indigenous method of metal casting and another practice beating process in Orissa, India.

Paper long abstract:

Brass metal work is one of the oldest cottage industries in India. The age old craft is practiced throughout the country. Present focus is given on two brass working communities, one in Khurda district and other in Dhenkanal district of Orissa. The 'Ghantara' community of Dhenkanal district practice the lost wax process of casting and the 'kansari' community of Khurda district practice beating process. These two types of work are practiced in two different geophysical setting and different working environment. Both males and females practice lost wax process whereas beating process is mainly done by male members of the artisan's family. It also identified the various hazards brought about by their nature of work, and the surrounding environment. The main symptoms are found in beating process are Musculoskeletal diseases, Neurological diseases, Respiratory diseases, Skin diseases, the digestive system (ingestion); infection in the respiratory tract (inhalation); hand or wrist tenosynovitis (inflammation in tendons), hearing loss, lateral epicondylitis ('tennis elbow'), contact dermatitis (skin inflammation), carpal tunnel syndrome (nerve compression in the wrist), Raynaud's syndrome ('vibration white finger'), mesothelioma (cancer), and asthma. These symptoms are rare in case of the artisans who practised lost wax process of brass work. The present paper mainly highlights how the modern technology increases the risk factors of different diseases in comparison to the indigenous technology.

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