Article Type

Original Study


Objectives The aims of this study were to assess the hepatic and hemotologic disorders that may arise among workers in a plastic factory and to assess workplace environment in the same factory. Background Occupational exposure to toxic chemicals such as polyvinyl chloride and styrene in plastic manufacturing has deleterious effects on the liver and hematopoietic system after prolonged exposure. Patients and methods In a historical cohort study, the exposed participants (n = 180) were recruited from workers in a plastic factory in Queisna industrial zone, Menoufia governorate, Egypt. The unexposed group (n = 60) was selected from workers' relatives who had never worked in the plastic industry. All participants completed a predesigned questionnaire on personal and occupational histories. Complete blood examination, liver function tests, and abdominal ultrasonography were performed for all participants. Environmental studies were also done. Data were collected, tabulated, and statistically analyzed by SPSS statistical package (version 20). Results The prevalence of elevated liver enzymes, anemia, and low platelet counts were significantly higher among the exposed than the unexposed participants. Also, mean value of environmental polyvinyl chloride and styrene levels were higher than permissible levels in the grinding department of the factory. Conclusion Complete blood count, liver function tests, and abdominal ultrasonography should be included in the periodic medical examination of exposed workers for early detection of hepatic and hematologic disorders.