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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 68-74

Hematologic profile of battery repair workers occupationally exposed to lead in Lagos, Nigeria


1 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
4 Division of Haematology, Pathcare Laboratories, Lagos, Nigeria
5 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ann Abiola Ogbenna
Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/atp.atp_26_17

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Background: Lead is one of ten chemicals of key public health concern. It inhibits various enzymes in the synthesis and homeostasis of red blood cells, hence altering hematologic parameters in those chronically exposed. Aim: This study aims to assess the degree of lead exposure among battery lead repair workers in Lagos and relate it to their hematologic profile. Materials and Methods: Structured interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to record demographic data. Blood samples were taken to determine full blood count, erythrocyte protoporphyrin, serum ferritin, and blood lead levels (BLL). BLLs were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. BLL were categorized as mild, moderate, or severe and were related to hematologic parameters. Categorical data were presented as proportion and continuous data as means or median. The effects of personal protective equipment on BLLs were assessed. Results: A total of 66 men with the mean age 46.15 ± 11.73 years and average duration of exposure to lead of 23.33 ± 11.03 years were enrolled. The median BLL was 20.75 μg/l (interquartile range). Majority had BLL between 20 and 40 μg/l, 4.55% had severely elevated lead levels. Participants with >30 years of exposure had a higher BLL (P = 0.046). BLL was negatively correlated with RBC count (r = −0.322 P = 0.008) and positively correlated with mean cell volume (MCV) (r = 0.277 P = 0.025). Mean MCV was 86.39 fl ± 7.90 fl). Participants with BLL >40 μg/l had higher MCV (P = 0.038). Conclusion: Battery repair workers have moderate exposure to lead which is not enough to lead to significant hematologic effect.


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