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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1994;27(3): 517-530.
A Study of Working Environments and Workers Exposed to Chromium.
Byung Chul Yu, Byung Chul Son, Jin Ho Jun, Yong Soo Han, Hye Sook Son, Chae Eun Lee, Woon Jeong
1Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine and Institute of Industrial Medicine, Inje University, Korea.
2Graduate School of Public Health, Inje University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
For the purpose of providing the basic data for health management of workers who are exposed to chromium and for improving the quality of working environment, the authors evaluated blood and urinary level of chromium, the occupational history, AST, ALT, Hb, Hct, nasal specular examination on 287 workers who have been dealed chromium compounds in 56 manufacturing industries of five types, that is, 38 metal plating services(plating), 4 manufacture of other fabricated metal products (fabricated metal product), 5 manufacturing of dyestuff(dyestuff), 6 dressing and dyeing of leather (leather), 3 others (manufacture of pottery and ceramic household wares, motor vehicles, electronic valves and tubes and other electronic components) and also measured the level of chromium in air from February to october 1993. The results were as follows; 1. The utilized type of chromium compounds was the hexavalent state in plating, fabricated metal product, dyestuff leather and the trivalent state in other, and atmospheric chromium concentration as geometric mean was 0.0138m3(0.001~0.068 mg/m3) in plating, 0.0115 mg/m3(0.006~0.015 mg/m3) in fabricated metal product, 0.068 mg/m3 (0.002~0.019 mg/m3)in dyestuff, 0.0083 mg/m3(0.002~0.028 mg/m3) in leather, 0.0039 mg/m3(0.003~0.005 mg/m3) in other by the type of industry and it exceeded TLV-TWA (0.05 mg/m3) in five(13.6%) of plating services. 2. The geometric mean of chromium in blood was 1.54 microgram/dl(0.10~3.62 microgram/dl) in planting, 0.94 microgram/dl(0.27~2.82 microgram/dl) in fabricated metal product, 0.51 microgram/dl(0.10~3.25 microgram/dl) in dyestuff, 0.87 microgram/dl(0.15~8.00 microgram/dl) in leather 0.55 microgram/dl(0.20~2.28 microgram/dl) in other by the type of industry(P<0.001). 3. The geometric mean of chromiurn in urine was 14.47 microgram/l(6.90~28.00 microgram/l) in planting, 4.63 microgram/l(0.24~43.00 microgram/l) in fabricated metal product, 5.93 microgram/l(1.00~33.00 microgram/l) in dyestuff. 11.09 microgram/l(0.80~48.00 microgram/l) in leather, 12.41 microgram/l(10.10~41.00 microgram/l) in other by the type of industry(P<0.001). 4 As the result of nasal specular examination, twenty four cases(8.4%) of nasal septal perforation among 287 total subjects was observed, and there were 17(9.7%) cases in plating, 4 cases(14.3%) in dressing and dyeing of leather. In the comparison of chromium concentration in blood and urine between the perforated group and nonperforated group the perforated group showed a significantly higher value as 1.883+/-3.055 microgram/dl and 0.793+/-0.815 microgram/dl(P<0.001). 21.31+/-34.610 microgram/L and 9.304+/-11.079 microgram/L(P<0.001). 5. The mean concentration of chromium in blood, urine and the mean level of AST, ALT, Hb and Hct in exposure group were higher than those of control group(P<0.001).
Key words: chromium; air; blood; urine; nasal septal perforation
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