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Lead exposure among lead-acid battery workers in Jamaica.
Matte TD; Figueroa JP; Burr G; Flesch JP; Keenlyside RA; Baker EL
Am J Ind Med 1989 Feb; 16(2):167-177
In response to elevated blood lead levels found in Jamaican lead acid battery workers, a survey of occupational exposure to lead (7439921) in this industry was carried out. At the three battery manufacturing sites and ten battery repair shops participating in the study, work practices, engineering controls, and respirator use were observed, and air samples were taken to determine lead concentrations. Questionnaires were administered to employees, and venous blood was taken for determinations of blood lead and zinc- protoporphyrin. Air lead levels were found to be higher at the manufacturing sites than at the repair shops, where few process controls were found to exist. Respirator use was infrequent in both workplaces. Overall, blood lead levels of manufacturing employees were elevated. Elevations occurred in a similar pattern between the two employee groups, although factory workers showed a stronger positive association between poor workplace practices and elevated blood lead. Toxic effects were found in those with higher lead levels, but these were not statistically different from those in the lower level groups. The authors recommend the implementation of United States guidelines for occupational lead exposure in Jamaica and other developing countries, adapted to limitations in local resources.
NIOSH-Author; Battery-manufacturing-industry; Lead-absorption; Lead-poisoning; Occupational-exposure; Workplace-studies; Work-practices; Standards; Author Keywords: lead; contamination; developing countries; occupational diseases; battery workers
Dr. T.D. Matte, NIOSH/CDC, Building 1, Room 3043, D26, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta GA 30333
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division