[Lead exposure among Kaohsiung traffic policemen].Gaoxiong Yi Xue Ke Xue Za Zhi. 1989 Jun; 5(6):314-9.GY
In this recent century there has been increasing concern over the possible harmful effects of lead from automobile exhaust on human health. Traffic policemen are heavily exposed to automobile exhaust. In Kaohsiung city because of the increasing number of motor vehicles due to rapid urbanization and heavy traffic transportation from suburbs for export trade, traffic policemen have varied exposure experiences. The automobile exhaust of lead additive gasoline was found to be the major type of exposure for traffic policemen whose duties were in the city, while those who worked in the suburb areas were generally exposed to diesel oil exhaust gas. In this study 98 traffic policemen were studied with 118 students used as a control group. Subjects were evaluated for lead absorption and other metabolic effects. The average value of blood lead for traffic policemen (24.43 +/- 5.31 micrograms/dl) in the city of Kaohsiung was significantly (p less than 0.01) higher than for the control group (20.14 +/- 5.07 micrograms/dl). According to other bioindicators it was also found that the mean values of carboxyhemoglobin, urine lead and urine coproporphyrin were significantly higher in the traffic policemen group. Linear regression between blood lead and the duration of employment was also found in this study (R = -0.2447, p less than 0.05). The most reasonable explanations for these findings are the effects of lead emission from motor vehicles and the employment shifting system that cause this effect.