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Health Promot Perspect. 2015;5(4): 296-303.
doi: 10.15171/hpp.2015.035
PMID: 26933649
PMCID: PMC4772800
  Abstract View: 1473
  PDF Download: 691

Original Research

Occupational Exposure and Health Impairments of Formaldehyde on Employees of a Wood Industry

Mohammad Javad Jafari 1*, Abolfazl Rahimi 2, Leila Omidi 3, Mohammad Hassan Behzadi 4, Mohammad Hassan Rajabi 5

1 Occupational Health Engineering Department, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Environment and Energy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
3 Occupational Health Engineering Department, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Department of Statistics, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
5 Doctorate of Laboratory Sciences, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gonbad, Iran

Abstract

Background: Occupational exposure to formaldehyde may decrease white blood cell counts and change blood concentration. In this study, the influences of occupational exposure to formaldehyde on the number of white blood cells and blood concentrations were studied.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted in June of 2012 at North Wood Factory, Golestan Province, Iran. The US-NIOSH method No. 2541 was used to determine the occupational exposure of 30 workers of the production line (case group) and 30 administrative staffs (control group) to formalde­hyde. The number of white blood cells and blood concentration were determined using the normal blood count method and related indices. Demographic features as well as the symptoms of being exposed to formaldehyde were collected using a standard questionnaire.

Results: The occupational exposure of case group ranged from 0.50 ppm to 1.52 ppm. The prevalence of all studied symptoms from formaldehyde exposure in workers (2<median<5; range 1 to 5) was signifi­cantly different (P<0.001) towards the administrative staffs (median 1; range 1 to 4). The number of white blood cells in production line workers was not significantly different from those in administra­tive staff. The average blood concentration in the case group was significantly different from the con­trol group (mean difference= 0.9 [95% CI: 0.40-1.39];P=0.007).

Conclusion: Occupational exposure to formaldehyde changed the blood concentration of the studied workers but did not change the number of their white blood cells.  

Keywords: Formaldehyde, Occupational Exposure, Symptoms, Blood Cell, Wood Industry
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Submitted: 13 Apr 2015
Accepted: 04 Oct 2015
ePublished: 30 Jan 2016
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