Objectives Both lead recycling and lead-containing paint are the main source of lead exposure. During the lead industrial processes, the workers exposed to many elements including non-essential elements and essential elements. The aim of this study was to compare lead (Pb) with cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), selenium (Se), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) in blood between lead-exposed and non-exposed workers.
Method There were 109 lead workers and 329 non-exposed workers enrolled. The whole blood concentration of Pb was determined by graphite atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS), while the others (Cd, As, Se, Co, Cu and Zn) were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICPMS). We analysed the associations between the seven elements and the worker health examination data. Finally, multiple linear regressions were used to analyse elements interactions.
Results The mean age of all workers was 40.13 years and mean BMI was 24.81. Mean concentrations (ug/L) of blood elements in Pb-exposed workers were Pb 143.5 ug/L, Cd 1.28, As 9.45, Se 251.46, Co 0.57, Cu 1044.4, and Zn 9706.92. While concentrations in non-exposed workers were Pb, 26.18 ug/L, Cd, 0.98, As, 5.28, Se, 255.40, Co, 0.42, Cu, 880.07, and Zn, 6891.52. To find the relationship of Pb and the other elements, using the interaction variables, showed that there were interactions between Cd and As, As and Co, As and Cu.
Conclusions From the above results, the positive effect of essential elements to health examination values were not clear, little does the influence to the other non-essential elements. However, the damage from occupational non-essential elements exposure still needs to be concerned. Interaction to multi-elements also needs further research.
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