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Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2016;29(2):219-28. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00358.

Blood lead determinants and the prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms in firearm users in Mexico.

Author information

1
Mexican Institute of Social Security, 21st Century National Medical Center, Mexico City, Mexico (Occupational Health Research Unit). gpeaguilarm@gmail.com.
2
Mexican Institute of Social Security, 21st Century National Medical Center, Mexico City, Mexico (Occupational Health Research Unit).
3
Mexican Institute of Social Security, 21st Century National Medical Center, Mexico City, Mexico (Occupational Health Research Unit). carturojp@gmail.com.
4
National Autonomus University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico (Public Health Department, Faculty of Medicine). luisharo2@hotmail.com.
5
National Public Health Institute, Mexico City, Mexico.
6
Mexican Institute of Social Security, 21st Century National Medical Center, Mexico City, Mexico (Occupational Health Research Unit). rodrigogopar@gmail.com.
7
Mexican Institute of Social Security, 21st Century National Medical Center, Mexico City, Mexico (Occupational Health Research Unit). alejandrocabellolopez@gmail.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To identify blood lead predictors and the prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms in firearm users of public security in Mexico.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was performed on 65 males. We obtained socio-occupational data and determined venous blood lead (blood (B), lead (Pb) - BPb), as well as neuropsychiatric symptoms using the Q-16 questionnaire. A multiple linear regression model was constructed to assess determinants of BPb.

RESULTS:

The mean age in the study group was 34.8 years (standard deviation (SD) = 6.9, range: 21-60); the mean number of years spent in the company amounted to 14 years (SD = 8.5, range: 1-48). Twenty percent of the respondents (N = 13) used leaded glazed clay pottery (lead (Pb), glazed (G), and clay pottery (C) - PbGC) in the kitchen. During practice they fired a mean of 72 shots (SD = 60, range: 20-250), and during their whole duration of employment 5483 shots (SD = 8322.5, range: 200-50 000). The mean BPb was 7.6 μg/dl (SD = 6.8, range: 2.7-51.7). Two caretakers from the firing range had 29.6 μg/dl and 51.7 μg/dl BPb. The subjects who had shooting practice sessions ≥ 12 times a year reported a greater percentage of miscarriages in their partners (24% vs. 0%). Twelve percent of the respondents showed an increase in neuropsychiatric symptoms. The BPb multiple linear regression model explained R2 = 44.15%, as follows: those who had ≥ 12 practice sessions per year - β = 0.5339 and those who used PbGC - β = 0.3651.

CONCLUSIONS:

Using firearms and PbGC contributes to the increased BPb in the studied personnel. The determinants of BPb were: shooting practices >12 times a year and using PbGC. Blood lead concentrations reported in the study, despite being low, are a health risk, as evidenced by the prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms.

KEYWORDS:

blood lead; firearms; heavy metal toxicity; lead exposure; neuropsychiatric symptoms; occupational exposure

PMID:
26670353
DOI:
10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00358
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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