South African Medical Journal

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Lead poisoning in shooting-range workers in Gauteng Province, South Africa: Two case studies

A Mathee, P de Jager, S Naidoo, N Naicker


Background. Lead exposure constitutes a major public health concern globally. Relative to developed nations, lead exposure is understudied and poorly addressed in Africa, and there is a dearth of information available to inform lead poisoning prevention strategies, even in highrisk groups such as workers in shooting ranges who are potentially exposed to lead daily.

Methods. Two workers at a private shooting range in Gauteng, South Africa (SA), had blood lead levels and exposure histories taken.

Results. Workers had highly elevated blood lead levels and clinical symptoms associated with elevated blood lead levels.

Conclusion. Workers in private SA shooting ranges are vulnerable to lead exposure and poisoning, and scaled-up action is required to protect them and their families, as well as shooting-range users, from lead and the related health risks.
AJOL African Journals Online