Haematological profiles and serum lead levels in male fuel attendants in Calabar Metropolis, Nigeria
The haematological profiles and serum lead levels of male fuel station attendants in Calabar metropolis were determined. The haematological parameters assessed included haemoglobin concentration (Hb), haematocrit (HCT), total white blood cell count (WBC), differential white cell
counts and platelet count. Age range of participants was between 18 and 50 years and a total of 132 males participated in the study. Sixty (60) subjects were fuel station attendants, while 72 apparently healthy individuals, who were not filling station attendants and were not exposed to petroleum products by nature of their jobs served as control. Full blood count was performed on anticoagulated blood samples using an automated particle cell counter, while Lead level was estimated on serum obtained from blood samples in plain bottle using atomic absorption
spectrometry. There was no significant increase (p>0.05) in the haemoglobin concentration (Hb), haematocrit (HCT), mean cell volume (MCV), mean cell haemoglobin (MCH) and mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) of the fuel attendants, when compared with control subjects. Again, total white blood cell (WBC), lymphocyte, monocyte and platelet counts, and lead level of fuel attendants’ did not significantly (p>0.05) change, when compared with the control group. However, the granulocyte count showed a significant reduction, when compared with the control group. Furthermore, haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit (HCT), mean cell volume (MCV), mean cell haemoglobin (MCH), mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), total white cell count (WBC), lymphocyte count, granulocyte count, and monocyte count were significantly reduced (p<0.05) in attendants, who had been exposed for 4 years and above. A significant rise (p<0.05) in their lead level was also observed. This study concludes that prolonged exposure to petroleum
products affects haematological parameters.
Keywords: Haematological profile, lead, petroleum products, fuel station attendants