Biomedical Research

- Biomedical Research (2012) Volume 23, Issue 4

An epidemiological study of electroplaters occupationally exposed to Nickel and Chromium

The lock industry largely employs nickel (Ni) and chromium (Cr) plating. Workers employed in the lock factories of Aligarh (India) are occupationally co-exposed to both Ni and Cr, and an epidemiological survey of such workers may provide valuable information on the health hazards induced by exposure to Ni and Cr. In the present study, the sample population was divided into 3 groups on the basis of exposure duration. Group I- Control subjects, Group II- Electroplaters with exposure of <10 (1-9) years, Group III- Electroplaters with exposure of ≥10 (10-25) years. The groups had mean age of 25.85±4.65 years ranging from 18-35 years. A questionnaire-based epidemiological survey was undertaken to get an overall idea of the general health of electroplaters. Complete medical history was accounted and physical examination was also done. The body mass index (BMI) showed a decrease from 20.46±3.65 kg/m2 in control Group I to 17.46±2.31 kg/m2 in Group III of electroplaters, which had the highest exposure. The symptoms like malaise, dizziness, fever, tiredness, eye problems, skin allergies, dermatitis, chrome holes, problems in the upper respiratory tract, dental discolouration, cough, tight-chestedness, shortness of breath and other chest related problems, had higher prevalence in electroplaters with sub-chronic exposure than those subjected to chronic exposure. The results of this study may be attributed to the sudden impact of toxicants from the electroplating industry on the workers subjected to sub-chronic exposure. Sub-chronically exposed individuals showed various defense responses contributing to a surge in symptoms as compared to their chronically exposed counterparts

Author(s): Saba Qayyum, Anjum Ara, Javed AhmadUsmani

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