Lead exposure among small-scale battery recyclers, automobile radiator mechanics, and their children in Manila, the Philippines.


:Blood lead (PbB) and hemoglobin levels (Hb) were determined in 40 battery repair/recycling shop workers, 16 radiator repair shop workers, and 20 children living in the immediate vicinity of these shops. Unexposed residents with similar socioeconomic status were also investigated. Mean PbB level was significantly higher for battery workers (54.23 microg/dL) when compared to radiator workers (20.04 microg/dL) and unexposed adults (12.56 microg/dL) (P<0.001). Among battery workers, 94% had PbB levels above the WHO permissible exposure limit of 40 microg/dL for males and 30 microg/dL for females. There was no demarcation between workplace and living quarters; therefore, workers' families were similarly exposed to hazards. Children living in the immediate vicinity of battery shops also had significantly higher mean PbB levels (49.88 microg/dL) compared to radiator shop children (11.84 microg/dL) and unexposed children (9.92 microg/dL). For workers with PbB > 40 microg/dL, 90% were anemic (Hb < 13 g/dL for males and <11.5 g/dL for females). Linear regression showed a correlation (r=-0.214; P=0.03) between Hb level and log(10)PbB. There was no significant relationship between anemia and blood lead in children (r=-0.146). We conclude that radiator repair activities appeared to increase the body burden of lead, although not up to a level significantly different from unexposed counterparts. Battery recycling/repair activities, however, significantly increased blood lead levels in workers and their children.


Environ Res


Environmental research


Suplido ML,Ong CN




Has Abstract


2000-03-01 00:00:00














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