A Survey Of Blood Lead Levels In Various Types Of Male Workers In Hilla City, Iraq


BackgroundIn Iraq, although there are numerous small-scale and medium private sector workshops which use lead-based raw materials that may pose health risks to workers, there are no workplace regulations for lead exposure. MethodA cross-sectional study on the Blood lead levels of (178) occupationally exposed and a comparison group of non- exposed male workers was carried out in Hilla city – Babylon province- Iraq. Data on some risk factors such as age smoking, types of work, period of services and other variables like Body Mass Index and hypertension were gathered through structured questionnaires and interviews , body mass index , and blood pressure were measured . Blood sample was collected and analyzed for each participant by Lead Care Blood Testing System. Data analysis was performed using SPSS (version 17). Results The mean blood lead level of all groups was 23.50±16.35 the range was2.9-67. The highest blood lead mean was among workers engaged in radiator repairing ( 36.75± 20.26 ) followed by the mean of battery storage repair workers (29.80±16.16 ) . The mean blood lead level of the occupationally non exposed comparison group (13.02±6.89 ) which was significantly lower than the means of the occupationally exposed groups P<0.001. The blood lead levels were significantly increased with the increments of the following independent variables : age, period of services ,body mass index . smoking ,systolic and diastolic blood pressures .Conclusion The findings of the study have clearly demonstrated that the blood lead levels of occupationally exposed workers were considerably high and they are in danger of impending lead toxicity. The blood lead levels of the workers are influenced by their occupational practices, age, period of employement, smoking , and associated positively with high blood pressure .