Environmental Pollution of Lead in Traffic air and Blood of Traffic Policemen in Khartoum State, Sudan

  • SM Rahama
  • HE Khider
  • SNH Mohamed
  • SA Abuelmaali
  • AH Elaagip


Introduction: A cross sectional study was conducted in Khartoum State. A total of 45 males’ traffic policemen were divided into two groups according to exposure to car exhaust; n= 30 taken as exposed group, n= 15 taken
as controls, who were not exposed to car exhaust.
Objectives: The study was conducted to determine lead concentrations in traffic ambient air, to determine lead levels in blood of traffic policemen, and to evaluate the effect of exposure to car exhaust on traffic policemen
during January 2009.
Methods: The level of lead in ambient air was determined in 14 locations which were taken randomly at the intersections and entrances to the bridges using personal sampler “Cassella, U.K”. The blood samples of all
policemen were analyzed by atomic absorption Spectrophotometer to determine lead levels. A questionnaire was designed to assess the adverse health effects on the traffic policemen.
Results: The degree of environmental lead pollution in traffic ambient air was found to be 0.1937±0.1768 mg/m³ with range between 0.000-0.5166 mg/m³. In seven locations out of fourteen locations lead concentrations
were 0.1940 and 0.5166 above the permissible level of 0.15 mg/m³ permitted internationally. Blood lead levels on traffic policemen (exposed and control groups) were found to be 2.4691±1.4065 ìg/100 ml and
0.3944±1.2471 ìg/100 ml respectively and there is no significant  differences between the two groups where using SPSS program. A  questionnaire findings were: average age mean of 35.9±7.7 years, 47.48% worked for periods of more than 20 years, 74.19% did not work before joining the traffic police, 51.6% of them recognized traffic air pollution as a problem of high level, 45.2% of them estimated it as medium, and 3.2% as low. As habits 38.71% were smokers, and for health complaints, 61.29% have various complaints of headache, fatigue, abdominal, hypertension and anemia. All these symptoms have a close relationship with lead poisoning.
Conclusion: When we compared the results of age groups and work  duration with lead levels of blood samples the results was not significant.

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