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Chronic cyanide exposure: a clinical, radioisotope, and laboratory study.
  1. S H El Ghawabi,
  2. M A Gaafar,
  3. A A El-Saharti,
  4. S H Ahmed,
  5. K K Malash,
  6. R Fares


    The effect of chronic cyanide exposure in the electroplating sections of three factories employing 36 workers was studied and compared with a control group. The concentration of cyanides to which the workers were exposed was measured. The regression line showing the relationship between thiocyanates in urine and the concentration of cyanides in the air was plotted. Increased percentages of haemoglobin and lymphocyte count were present in all exposed workers, in addition to punctate basophilia in 28 workers. Cyanmethaemoglobin was found to be characteristic. Apart from other complaints, two men with psychosis similar to one case reported in therapeutic thiocyanate intoxication were found. Twenty of the workers had thyroid enlargements to a variable degree and consistency, in two of whom it resembled lymphadenoid goitre. Thyroid 131I uptakes at 4 and 24 hours were significantly higher than in the controls, while 131PBI was unchanged. The reason for this iodine deficiency-like action is discussed.

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