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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 169-173

Hematological, antioxidant, and trace elements status in healthy mechanical welders: A pilot study

1 Department of Community Medicine, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Father Muller Research Centre, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Biochemistry, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga
Mangalore Institute of Oncology, Pumpwell, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joah.joah_37_20

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BACKGROUND: Welding work is considered to be an occupational hazard and welders are exposed to a range of metal fumes that are toxic to the blood system. Regular inhalation of the welding toxic fumes alters the hematological, antioxidant, and trace element levels and therefore an attempt is made at understanding these changes in the welders. AIM OF THE WORK: In this case–control study, an attempt is made at understanding the general health, hematological, antioxidant, and trace elements status of welders by comparing with age-matched office workers from the same area. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a purposive, case–control prospective study and was carried out in healthy volunteers devoid of any chronic or acute systemic ailments in Mangalore, India. The sociodemographic details were collected in a structured questionnaire, while a detailed clinical examination was carried out by the senior clinicians. The blood collected as per the standard laboratory procedure was analyzed for hematological parameters, antioxidant, and trace elements status. The data were subjected to frequency, percentage, and analyzed using the unpaired ttest. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS: The results suggest that when compared to the controls, the welders showed significantly lower neutrophil count (53.45 ± 6.11 vs. 46.68 ± 6.12; P = 0.0003) and platelet count (267409.1 ± 42329.4 vs. 199142.9 ± 73735.1; P = 0.0002), and significantly higher counts of eosinophils (5.86 ± 4.12 vs. 9.86 ± 2.76; P = 0.0004) and monocytes (2.45 ± 1.63 vs. 4.89 ± 1.17; P < 0.0001). The levels of lipid peroxidation were high (225.73 ± 56.88 vs. 255.82 ± 30.26; P = 0.04), whereas total antioxidant capacity was less (3.00 ± 0.91 vs. 2.16 ± 1.04; P = 0.004) in the welders. When compared to controls, the serum iron (84.09 ± 6.18 vs. 94.46 ± 8.44; P ≤ 0.0001), copper (104.68 ± 40.63 vs. 148.93 ± 34.18; P = 0.0002), and lead (8.53 ± 5.49 vs. 14.18 ± 8.05; P = 0.005) were all significantly high in welders. There was no significant difference in the serum zinc and glutathione levels between the controls and welders. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study indicate that occupational exposure to welding fumes among welders disturbs the homeostasis of trace elements in systemic circulation and induces oxidative stress.

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