Estimation of serum electrolyte concentration among fuel pump/petrol station workers in Kirkuk city
Occupational exposure to petrol has been reported to cause serious health hazards especially liver and kidney disease. Electrolytes like Na+, K+, and Cl- are the important mediators of several physiological functions. The present study aims to evaluate the effect of petrol exposure on the serum electrolyte concentration among the workers at the Kirkuk petrol station. The cross-sectional study analyzed 29 petrol pump workers who were continuously exposed to petrol more at least one year in the Kirkuk city and did not have a history of any systemic illness, and 10 healthy age-matched controls who never had exposure to petrol were enrolled. The serum electrolyte levels (Na+, K+, and Cl-) were assessed in the petrol station workers working at Kirkuk city petrol station and the controls by FUJI DRI-CHEM system (Fujifilm (Japan) and expressed as mmol/l. These serum electrolyte levels were compared between the workers and the controls by Mann-Whitney U test and p values ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. All the participants in the study were males. None of the participants was smokers or alcohol consumers. No significant (p=0.32) difference was found in the mean age of the petrol station workers (34.22±6.57) years and the controls (36.70±6.33) years. The serum Na+ levels were significantly higher in the petrol station workers as compared to the controls. Similarly, serum Cl- levels were significantly higher in the petrol station workers as compared to the controls. Although the levels of the electrolytes studied were in the normal recommended range but the levels of Na+ and Cl-were significantly higher in the petrol station workers than the controls. Extensive studies involving larger sample sizes should be conducted to conclude the effect of petrol exposure on the electrolyte levels.
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