Association of Vitamin D and Calcium Levels in E-waste Workers and Environmentally Exposed Participants in Southwestern Nigeria
Exposure to e-waste either by occupation or through the environment have been implicated in cancer development. The growing influx of e-waste to Nigeria and inadequate recycling, part salvaging, distribution and disposal of discarded or obsolete electronic devices is creating new sets of environmental and public health challenges. This study investigated the effect of exposure on vitamin D (25(OH) Vit D), total and ionized calcium levels in workers and individuals environmentally exposed to e-waste in Lagos, Benin and Ibadan cities in Southwestern Nigeria. Six hundred and thirty-two participants from three major cities in Nigeria were recruited for this study. They included e-waste workers, environmental e-waste exposed individuals and age matched unexposed individuals. 25(OH) Vit D was determined using ELISA, while total and ionized calcium by colorimetric method. Total calcium (tCa) in e-waste workers was significantly different from environmental exposed groups (p=0.000) while ionized calcium (iCa) was significantly increased for both e-waste exposed groups when compared with the unexposed group. 25(OH)Vit D level was significantly increased in e-waste workers compared with environmental and unexposed populations (p<0.001). Optimal levels of tCa, iCa and vitamin D in the e-waste exposed population may offer some forms of defense against the severity of existing and undiagnosed cancers or reduce the risk of cancer development in the e-waste exposed participants. However, e-waste may unfavourably modulate these expected beneficial roles in the e-waste exposed populations with continued exposure.