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Int J Prev Med. 2019 Nov 6;10:194. doi: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_495_18. eCollection 2019.

Volatile Organic Compounds as a Preventive Health Challenge in the Petrochemical Industries.

Author information

1
Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Islamic Azad University, Shahreza Branch, Shahreza, Iran.
2
Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Food Security Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
3
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.

Abstract

Background:

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of long-term exposure to VOCs on employees' clinical parameters in one of the main petroleum centers in Iran.

Methods:

In this case-control study, 80 operational and administrative employees with 8-15 years of work experience were considered as the case and control groups. Liver function was evaluated by measuring serum alanine transaminase (ALT) activity and lipid profile was measured. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to analyze the VOCs levels at the workplace.

Results:

There were increased levels of serum ALT (P = 0.003), triglycerides (P = 0.015), total cholesterol (P = 0.003), and LDL-C (P = 0.010) among the operational staffs compared to the administrative staffs. Assessment of the relationship between worksite pollutants and ALT levels revealed that there were significant positive relationship between benzene (r = 0.45, P = 0.004) and styrene (r = 0.37, P = 0.034) with increased ALT concentrations.

Conclusions:

VOC exposure could be contributed to reduced liver function and impaired lipid profile. Therefore, proper preventive strategies seem to be necessary for reducing hazardous exposure.

KEYWORDS:

Lipid profile; liver enzyme; petrochemical employees; volatile organic compounds

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