Volume 7, Issue 1 (spring 2010)                   ioh 2010, 7(1): 4-0 | Back to browse issues page

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Neghab M, Kardaneyan M, Norozi M. Health effects associated with occupational exposure to low levels of mercury vapors by employees of a chloralkali plant. ioh. 2010; 7 (1) :4-0
URL: http://ioh.iums.ac.ir/article-1-279-en.html
Professor of Occupational Health, member of the Shiraz research center for health Shiraz research center for health , neghabm@sums.ac.ir
Abstract:   (8081 Views)

  Background and aims

  The present study carried out to evaluate health effects associated with chronic occupational exposure to low levels of mercury vapors.



  The study population consisted of 46 male workers occupationally exposed to  mercury vapors and 65 healthy unexposed employees. Subjects were administered a questionnaire on symptoms experienced and underwent clinical examinations as well routine biochemical tests.

  Additionally, using standard methods, atmospheric and urinary concentrations of mercury were measured.



  Environmental and urinary concentrations of mercury were estimated to be 3/97±6/28  μg/m 2 and 34/30±26/77 μg/lit, respectively. While these values were blow the recommended TLV and BEI for this substance, exposed subjects had significantly higher concentrations of urinary mercury levels than their unexposed counterparts. No significant differences were noted between CBC, BUN, serum creatinine or serum activity of liver enzymes of both groups. Conversely, analysis of the data revealed that symptoms such as somatic and mental fatigue, anorexia, loss off  memory and personality change were significantly more common among exposed individuals.  Likewise, painful spasm of the extremities, irritability, vague fears and insomnia were more frequent among exposed population, although the differences were not statistically significant.


  Conclusion Theses observations indicate that occupational exposure to mercury vapors, even at low levels, is likely to be associated with neurological and psychological symptoms.


Full-Text [PDF 223 kb]   (2354 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Air pollution
Received: 2010/07/24

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