Exposure to F can be through inhalation of gaseous F compounds released during processing and handling of fertilizer in the industry and through direct dermal contact.The aim of the present study was to evaluate the occupational risk of exposure to F among these workers in India.
A cross-sectional comparative study was designed involving 34 male laborers working in an industrial phosphate fertilizer plant and 55 male laborers employed in the wood working industry in Mangalore city, India. Before beginning the study, the design of the project was approved by the local ethics committee. A convenience sampling was employed with the informed consent of all the participants. Blood and urine samples were collected over a two-week period at the end of working hours (post-shift samples). After dilution with equal volumes of TISAB buffer, F levels in serum and urine were determined directly using an Orion F ion-specific electrode against a Ag/AgCl reference electrode. Data were recorded as parts per million (ppm) of F. The concentration of F in the drinking water in the region ranged from 0.5 to 1 mg/L.
d. Workers employed in the fertilizer industry had higher serum F (0.077 Â± 0.027 ppm) and urinary F (3.85 Â± 1.66 ppm) than workers employed in the wood industry (0.037 Â± 0.009 ppm and 0.97 Â± 0.37 ppm). As expected, the serum and urinary F levels among exposed workers showed a strong correlation (r = + 0.81). These findings indicate that phosphate fertilizer workers in India are at high risk of exposure to excessive amounts of F.
Implementation of effective protective and regulatory measures confirming the Occupational Safety and Health Hazards (OSHA) standards or the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) guidelines are recommended for phosphate fertilizer plants of India.present data are insufficient to recommend utilizing fluoride concentrations in these body fluids as biomarkers of contemporary fluoride exposure for individuals. Daily fluoride excretion in urine can be considered a useful biomarker of contemporary fluoride exposure for groups of people, and normal values have been published.
Clinical trial identification
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.