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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 82-87

Hepatic impairment among workers of furniture manufacture occupationally exposed to solvents in Egypt


1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt
3 Department of Air Pollution, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Ibrahim W Hasani
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, 12613 Cairo
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1687-4293.175891

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Background/aim Organic solvents, which are used in many processes in furniture manufacture, are the most common chemicals that may be associated with liver injury. The present study aimed to determine the potential impact among workers exposed to mixtures of organic solvents on liver function tests. Participants and methods The present study included 63 workers occupationally exposed to organic solvents and 27 healthy individuals who served as a control group. The exposed group was divided into three subgroups according to the duration of employment: less than 10 years (G2), from 10 to 20 years (G3), and more than 20 years (G4) of employment. Six air samples were collected in the different production units using activated charcoal tubes according to a standard method developed by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Clinical data and demographic information were collected. Liver enzymes [alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), g-glutamyltransferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities] were measured in all participants. Results The mean level of organic solvents at air work place was below the maximum allowable limits according to international regulations and Egyptian Environmental Law 4. Serum ALT, AST, GGT, ALP, and LDH activities were significantly higher in exposed workers than in the controls. Serum AST and ALP activities were elevated in subgroups with duration of employment more than 10 years compared with the controls. Serum ALT, ALP, and LDH activities showed a significant positive correlation with the duration of employment. Conclusion The relationship between occupational exposure to organic solvents and hepatic injury was propounded, even though the exposure was below the permissible exposure limit. Serum ALT is a good biomarker of hepatocellular injury and a sensitive biomarker for exposure to solvents.


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