A study of the health conditions of child workers in a small scale leather industry in Calcutta

Br J Ind Med. 1993 Oct;50(10):938-40. doi: 10.1136/oem.50.10.938.


Forty male children aged between seven and 14 years, working in small scale leather workshops in a slum locality in Calcutta were studied, along with a control group of 40 non-working male children of the same age group, same locality, and the same socioeconomic class. Three specific health problems--namely, low back and ankle pain, dizziness, and tingling pain in the hands were found in a significantly higher proportion in the working children. For height, weight, nutritional state, and general morbidity pattern, however there were no significant differences between the two groups. Possibly the particular sitting posture of the child workers for long working hours and the chemical nature of the glue and solvents used in this industry were responsible for the manifestations in the working children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ankle
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Morbidity
  • Nutritional Status
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Paresthesia / epidemiology
  • Posture
  • Poverty Areas
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Time Factors