Acute and Chronic Respiratory Effects of Chromium Mists

Masoud Neghab, Parisa Azad, marzieh Honarbakhsh, Fatemeh Zarei, Ebrahim Ghaderi

Abstract


Background: Despite wide application of chromium in electroplating industry, the pulmonary effects of chronic exposure to this chemical have not been extensively studied and are subject of debate and controversy. This study was, therefore, undertaken to further address this issue.

 

Methods: The study population consisted of a group of 15 workers with a history of past and present occupational exposure to chromium mists and 15 unexposed healthy subjects (referent). Subjects were interviewed, respiratory symptom questionnaires were filled out for them, and their parameters of pulmonary function (PFT) were measured during the shift and a few days after exposure ceased.

 

Results: Both groups were similar as to the number of smokers, their length of smoking, and demographic factors such as age, weight and height. Although the unexposed group, on average, were slightly older than their exposed counterparts, statistical analysis of the data revealed that symptoms such as productive cough, phlegm, wheezing and shortness of breath were significantly (P<0.05) more prevalent among the exposed workers. Furthermore, the parameters of pulmonary function (PFT) of the exposed workers, while at work, were significantly lower than those of referent individuals. Interestingly, PFT of the exposed subjects generally showed some improvement a few days after their exposure ceased. However, despite this relative recovery, the differences of PFT values between the exposed and referent groups, from statistical point of view, remained significant.

 

Conclusion: Our data support the proposition that exposure to chromium mists induces abnormal respiratory symptoms as well as both acute, partially reversible and chronic irreversible lung functional impairments.


Keywords


Chromium, Respiratory symptoms, Respiratory function tests, electroplating

Full Text:

PDF

References


Agency for toxic substances and disease Rigistry case

studies in Enviromental Medicine (CSEM) chromium

toxicity, December 18, 2008.

World Health Organization. Chromium (Environmental

Health Criteria 61) International Programme on

Chemical Safety. Geneva, Switzerland 1990.

Dayan AD, Paine AJ. Mechanisms of chromium

toxicity, carcinogenicity and allergenicity: review of

the literature from 1985 to 2000. Hum Exp Toxicol

; 20(9): 439-51.

International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS).

Chromium. Environmental Health Criteria 61. WHO.

Agency for toxic substances and disease Registry

(ATSDR). Agency for toxic substances and disease

Registry Toxicological profile for chromium. U.S.

Department of Health and Human services, public

Health services. September 2012.

Zober A. Possible dangers to the respiratory tract from

welding fumer: methods of approach in an industrial

health care context and results. Schweissen Schneiden

; 34 (2): 77-81.(in German).

Jindrichova J. chromium damage in arc welders. Z

Gesamte Hyg 1978; 24(2): 86-8.(in German).

Keskinen H, Kalliomaki PL, Alanko K. Occupational

asthma due to stainless steel welding fumes. Clin

Allerg 1980; 10: 151-9.

Letterer E, Neidhardt K, Klett H. Chromate lung

cancer and chromate pneumoconiosis. A clinical,

morbid anatomical and industrial-hygiene-related

study. Arch.Gewerbepathol. Gewerbehyg 1944; 12:

-61. (in German).

Sluis-Cremer GK, Du Toit RS. Pneumoconiosis in

chromite miners in South Africa. Br J Ind Med 1968;

(1): 63-7.

Rastogi SK, Pandey A , Tripathi S. Occupational health

risks among the workers employed in leather tanneries

at Kanpur. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2008; 12(3):

-5.

Lindberg E, Hdenstierna G. Chrome plating: Symptoms,

findings in upper airways, and effects on lung function.

Arch Environ Health 1983; 38: 367-74.

Reggiani A, Lotti M, De Rosa E, Saia B. Impairments of

respiratory functions in subjects exposed to chromium:

Note1. Spirographic changes. Lav Um 1973; 25(1): 23-7.

Bovet P, Lob M, Gradjiean M. Spirometric Alteration in

workers in chromium electroplating industry. Int Arch

Occup Environ Health 1977; 40(1): 25-32.

US PHS, Health of workers in chromate producing

industry, Washington DC, US Department of Health,

Education and Welfare, US Public Health Service 1953;

(192): 131 pp.

Hayden SP, Pincock AC, Hayden J, Tyler LE, Cross KW,

Bishop HM. Respiratory symptoms and pulmonary

function of welders in the engineering industry. Thorax

; 39: 442-7.

Erkinjuntti-Pekkanen R, Slater T, Cheng S, Fishwick D,

Bradshaw L, Kimbell-Dunn M, et al. Two year follow

up of pulmonary function values among welders in

New Zealand. Occup Environ Med 1999; 56: 328–33.

Huvinen M, Utti J, Oksa p, Laippala p. Respiratory

health effects of long-term exposure to different

chromium species in stainless steel production. Occup

Med 2002; (4): 203-12.

Ferris BG. Epidemiology Standardization project. Am

Rev Respir Dis 1978; 118: 1-120.

American thoracic society (ATS) statement snowbird

workshop on standardization of spirometry. Am Rev

Respir Dis 1979; 119(5): 831-8.

Were FH, Charles Moturi M, Kamau GN, Wafula GA.

Respiratory Diseases Due to Occupational Exposure

to Nickel and Chromium among Factory Workers in

Kenya. J Community Med Health Educ 2013; 3: 7.

Hamzah NA, Mohd Tamrin SB, Ismail NH. Metal Dust

Exposure and Respiratory Health of Male Steel Workers

in Terengganu, Malaysia. Iranian J Publ Health 2014;

(3): 154-66 Original.

Were FH, Charles Moturi M, Wafula GA. Chromium

Exposure and Related Health Effects among Tannery

Workers in Kenya. J Health Pollut 2014; 4(7): 25-35.

Hsien-Wen Kuo, Jim-Shoung Lai, Tsai-In Lin. Nasal

septum lesions and lung function in workers exposed

to chromic acid in electroplating factories. Int Arch

Occup Environ Health 1997; 70: 272-6.

Osim EE, Tandayi M, Chinyanga HM, Matarira HT,

Mudambo KK, Musabayane CT. Lung function,

blood gases, pH and serum electrolytes of small scale

miners exposed to chrome ore dust on the Great Dyke

in Zimbabwe. Trop Med Int Health 1999; 4(9): 621–8 .

Saad-Hussein A, Sharaf NE, Abdel-Shakour A,

Hammad SA, Abd-ElGelil KS. Ventilatory Problems

and Cytogenetic Changes in workers occupationally

exposed to chromium. AJCR 2013; 6 (2): 50-7.

Sobaszek A, Edme JL, Boulenguez C, Shirali P,

Mereau M, Robin H, et al. Respiratory symptoms and

pulmonary function among stainless steel welders. J

Occup Environ Med 1998; 40(3): 223-9.

Antti-Poika M, Hassi J, Pyy L. Respiratory diseases

in arc welders. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1977;

(3): 225-30.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

pISSN: 2345-2218          eISSN: 2345-3893