A b s t r a c t

Occupational Exposure to Manganese-containing Welding Fumes and Pulmonary Function Indices among Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Welders: Hamid HASSANI, et al. Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran—Objectives: The objectives of this study were to evaluate manganese (Mn)-containing welding fumes’ exposure, assess urinary Mn as a biomarker for Mn exposure and investigate the correlation of Mn in air, total fumes and urinary Mn with pulmonary function indices in 118 welders and 37 unexposed controls from two regions in Iran, Assaluyeh and Borujen. Methods: Air samples were collected on mixed cellulose ester membrane filters in personal air samplers and then analyzed using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) (NIOSH Method 7300). For all participants, urine samples were collected during the entire work shift, and Mn in urine was determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy according to NIOSH Method 8310. Spirometric measurements were also done for participants. Results: The maximum exposures to airborne Mn and total fumes were 0.304 ± 0.256 mg/m3 and 21.52 ± 9.40 mg/m3, respectively. The urine Mn levels in the various groups ranged between 0.77 to 7.58 μg/l. The correlation between airborne Mn and urinary Mn was significant for total whole participants. Some values of spirometric indices were statistically lower in welders rather than controls. Conclusions: Our results indicate 2012that many welders have been exposed to higher concentrations of Mn-containing welding fumes. Urinary Mn can be used as a biomarker for Mn exposure. There were weak inverse correlations between Mn-containing welding fumes and pulmonary function indices, and the inverse correlation between urinary Mn with forced vital capacities (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) was significant.
(J Occup Health 2012; 54: 316–322)

Authors

Hamid Hassani, Farideh Golbabaei, Asghar Ghahri, Mostafa Hosseini, Hamid Shirkhanloo, Behnam Dinari, Davood Eskandari and Majid Fallahi

Conclusions

In summary, our results indicate that many welders have been exposed to higher concentrations of Mn-containing welding fumes. Urinary Mn can be used as a biomarker for Mn exposure. There were weak, but not significant statistically, inverse correlations between Mn-containing welding fumes and pulmonary function indices, and the inverse correlation between urinary Mn with FVC and FEV1 was significant.

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