Lead Poisoning Clinical Presentations and Treatment Outcomes of Battery- Manufacturing Workers

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Kate Chaivatcharaporn


A Battery-manufacturing factory’s periodic examination revealed blood lead level (BLL) above 40 μg/dl in 20 percent of the workers. The objective of the study were to examine the clinical presentations and treatment outcomes of lead poisoning in battery- manufacturing workers with BLL above 40 μg/dl. The subjects included 170 battery- manufacturing workers whose latest BLL above 40 μg/dl. All received occupational disease diagnosis conducted by occupational medicine physician including 1) health status and symptom survey questionnaire 2) physical examination and 3) laboratory investigation (BLL, complete blood count, serum creatinine).All subjects had medical removal, some were prescribed oral chelating agent (D-penicillamine) and intravenous chelating agent (CaNa2EDTA 1,000 mg/day). BLLs were monitored. The operation was run on behalf of Occupational Disease Clinic, Samutprakarn Hospital. The present study demonstrated that before treatment, BLL average was 69.3 μg/dl. The most prevalent symptoms were muscle pain, fatigue, arthralgia, headache, dizziness and forgetfulness. Anemia was found in 13.3 percent of the subjects. Negative correlations between age, working years, MCV and BLL were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Positive correlation between RDW and BLL was detected (p < 0.05). There was association between past removal history and BLL (p < 0.01). Removal resulted in 26.13 μg/dl decreased of blood lead level (n = 94) (p < 0.01). Four- month course of D-penicillamine resulted in 17.8 μg/dl decreased of BLL (n = 45) (p < 0.01). Three-day course of CaNa2EDTA resulted in 7.9 μg/dl decreased of BLL (n = 7) (p = 0.01). Hence, medical removal along with chelation therapy successfully decreased BLL in battery- manufacturing workers.

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Chaivatcharaporn, K. (2016). Lead Poisoning Clinical Presentations and Treatment Outcomes of Battery- Manufacturing Workers . Thai Journal of Toxicology, 31(2), 25–38. Retrieved from https://li01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/ThaiJToxicol/article/view/244139
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