White Blood Cell Indices and Health Parameters of Workers in Industrial and Urban Areas WBC Indices and Health Parameters of Workers in Industrial and Urban Areas

Main Article Content

Amer K. Al-hasan
Zainab N. Abd. Al-nabi


White blood cell indices,, industrial, urban, Basrah


Background. Working far from urban domains exposes workers to harsh environmental hazards like air pollutants and harmful byproduct emissions. Site workers often are exposed to harmful agents and may suffer from dangerous health disorders. The aim of this study is to estimate the hazard level posed by these conditions through clinical examination of assays taken at the State Company of Fertilizers, Southern Region, in the Basra governorate of the city of Iraq.

Methods. A study was conducted on 35 workers from both the State Company of Fertilizers (Southern Region) and Basrah University. The study involved an inquiry into the occupational history, chronic illnesses, and smoking habits of participants, along with a physical examination of arterial blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and oxygen saturation (SpO2). A complete blood picture (CBP) test was given to all study participants to obtain WBCs, while serum was assessed for liver (ALT) and (AST).

Results. The study showed a higher incidence of hypertension and diabetes among urban workers than among industrial workers, while 14% more industrial workers underwent surgical operations and 29% had fillings of dental caries and showed a non-significant rise in body temperature when compared with urban workers. Industrial employees had a highly significant increase (P≤0.001) in systolic blood pressure. Both groups of workers had uniformly decreased monocyte levels, while total WBCs and granulocytes were non-uniformly distributed, except for lymphocytes. Data showed a highly significant decrease (p≤0.005) in the monocytes of industrial workers, while a general decrease was present in all other WBC parameters, though with no statistical significance (P≥0.05). Liver function tests showed abnormalities in 42% of the industrial workers (ALT 36 U/L), while 92.8% were suggestive of chronic hepatitis or steatosis due to a ratio of less than 1 in AST: ALT levels.

Conclusion. Decreased WBCs (leukopenia) and health problems, along with markers of liver dysfunction, are potential health hazards faced by workers in the fertilizer industry. Maintenance and site equipment engineers had recurrent long-term exposure to ammonia gases and toxic environmental agents. The findings of this clinical surveillance are significant; however, studying the etiological factors and subsequent pathogenicity remains necessary.





Abstract 19 |


1. Wald PH, Jones JR. Semiconductor manufacturing: an introduction to processes and hazards. Am J Ind Med. 1987;11(2):203-21.
2. Sullivan Jr JB, Krieger GB, Thomas RJ. Hazardous materials toxicology: clinical principles of environmental health. J Occup Environ Med. 1992 Apr 1;34(4):365-71.
3. Teitelbaum DT. Photoactive chemicals used in photoresist systems. Occup Med. 1986;1(1):59-68.
4. Luo JC, Hsu KH, Hsieh LL, Wong CJ, Chang MJ. Lung function and general illness symptoms in a semiconductor manufacturing facility. J Occup and Environ Med. 1998 Oct 1;40(10):895-900.
5. Muslim AS, AL-azzawi RH. Prevalence of Hepatitis E Virus in AL-Muthanna Province (Iraq) patients. Iraqi J Sci. 2015;56(2A):965-71.

6. Cullen MR, Rado T, Waldron JA, Sparer J, Welch LS. Bone marrow injury in lithographers exposed to glycol ethers and organic solvents used in multicolor offset and ultraviolet curing printing processes. Arch Environ Health. 1983 Nov 1;38(6):347-54.
7. Weeks JL, Levy BS, Wagner GR, eds. Aplastic anemia: preventing occupational diseases and injury. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association; 1991:1059.
8. Close LG, Catlin FI, Cohn AM. Acute and chronic effects of ammonia burns of the respiratory tract. Arch Otolaryngol. 1980 Mar 1;106(3):151-8.
9. Olanrewaju HA, Thaxton JP, Dozier III WA, Purswell J, Collier SD, Branton SL. Interactive effects of ammonia and light intensity on hematochemical variables in broiler chickens. Poult Sci. 2008 Jul 1;87(7):1407-14.
10. Roller MH. The effects of acute ammonia toxicity on certain blood parameters in cattle. Diss Abstr: B. 1966;27.
11. Aleemuddin M, Babu MG, Manjunath ML, Quadri SS. Effect of chronic inhalation of petroleum products on hematological parameters. Int J Curr Res. 2015;3(4):196-201.
12. Kirkeleit J, Riise T, Gjertsen BT, Moen BE, Bråtveit M, Bruserud Ø. Effects of benzene on human hematopoiesis. Open Hematol J. 2008 July;2(1):87-102.
13. Okoro AM, Ani EJ, Ibu JO, Akpogomeh BA. Effect of petroleum products inhalation on some haematological indices of fuel attendants in Calabar metropolis, Nigeria. Niger J Physiol Sci. 2006;21(1-2).
14. Luo JJ, Hsieh LL, Chang MJ, Hsu KH. Decreased white blood cell counts in semiconductor manufacturing workers in Taiwan. Occup Environ Med. 2002 Jan 1;59(1):44-8.
15. Strang Cr, Levine Sp, Herget Wf. A preliminary evaluation of the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer as a quantitative air monitor for semiconductor manufacturing process emissions. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1989 Feb 1;50(2):70-7.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 53

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 > >>