Assessment of Serum Levels of Some Heavy Metals in Carpenters Residing in Port-Harcourt in Relation to Their Lifestyle
Asian Journal of Research in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Carpentry as an occupation involves the use of woods routinely on daily basis. However, these woods are preserved through the application of certain chemicals, some of which happens to be heavy metals. When these woods are processed, the heavy metals together with wood dust are released into the work environment, and when this is inhaled or involuntarily ingested over a period, it may result in bioaccumulation of the heavy metals. This study examined the serum levels of some heavy metals (chromium, nickel and arsenic) in carpenters residing in Port-Harcourt in relation to their lifestyle. A total of 180 apparently healthy male subjects were used for the study, out of which 90 subjects were carpenters (test subjects), while the other 90 subjects were non-carpenters (control subjects). Relevant information was collected using a structured questionnaire, written consent from each subject was obtained, and blood samples collected and analysed. The Solar Thermo-Elemental Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) Model SE-71906 was used to analyse the heavy metals. The results showed a significantly higher (p<0.05) serum levels of chromium, nickel and arsenic in the carpenters as compared to the control subjects. Carpenters who were regular alcohol drinkers had a significantly higher (p<0.05) serum levels of chromium, nickel and arsenic as compared to occasional drinkers and non-drinkers, while carpenters who were smokers had a significantly higher (p<0.05) serum levels of chromium and nickel as compared to ex-smokers and non-smokers. These findings suggest that occupational exposure to wood dust may predispose carpenters and other wood workers to heavy metal intoxication, and that, drinking and/or smoking lifestyle may further predispose them to the heavy metal intoxication.
- Heavy metals
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