Exposure of automobile technicians to lead (bP) and self reported health sysmtoms among male adults in the Sunyani municipal magazine

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Background: Lead (Pb) is found naturally at diminutive levels in earth crust, largely as lead sulfide. However, as an industrial metal its presence in the environment could largely be attributed to anthropogenic activities. Lead (Pb) exposure account for 143000 deaths annually and 0.6% of the global burden of disease (WHO, 2013). Lead (Pb) intoxication occurs when people who directly or indirectly interact with the metal (lead) are exposed to inorganic lead (Pb) chemical or other materials that may habour lead (Pb) as its component (ILO, 2002). Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted from May to December 2017 among male adults between age 18 and 60 years old working in the Sunyani Municipal Magazine. 200 respondents were randomly selected from the garages association register. Data was collected using well-structured questionnaire containing both open and close-ended questions whereas urine sample were collected using acid-washed, decontaminated 20ml polyethylene containers and sent to Ghana Standard Authority for the analysis. Descriptive statistics as well as tests for associations using Chi square and multiple logistic regression were conducted between the outcome and independent variables Results: The mean urine lead level in all 200 respondents was 3.78µg/L with a standard deviation of 3.12µg/L. However, Radiator repairers (5.28µg/L) recorded the highest urine lead level, followed by Battery charging specialist (4.96µg/L), Spray painters (4.44µg/L) and then Mechanics (3.53µg/L). Auto-electricians recorded the least mean urine lead level of 1.94µg/L. There was association between urine Pb level and selfreported health symptoms of respondents. The mean urine lead level among respondents who reported to have hypertension, Chest pains, Heart palpitation, Low libido, Reduced sperm count, Anemia, Headache, Dullness, Muscular tremor, Loss of memory, poor iv attention span, Irritability, Stuff nose rhinitis, chest tightness and wheezing had significantly higher compared to the mean urine lead levels of those who did not have such symptoms (p-values <0.05) Conclusion: Findings from this study have revealed that occupational factors, awareness of Pb hazards, practice of personal hygiene and lifestyle factors were the major factors that put automobile technician at risk of Pb exposure hence there is the need for various control measures such as training and health education as fundamental means in the prevention of lead exposures in automobile technicians.
A thesis submitted to the School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Award of a Master’s Degree in Environment and Public Health.
Exposure, Automobile technicians, Health sysmtoms, Male adults, Sunyani municipal magazine