Article Type

Original Study


Objectives This study aimed to study neurobehavioral and hematological health disorders among fuel supply station workers and its relation to the workplace environment. Background Gasoline and its constituents are one of the most hazardous chemicals to the nervous and hematological systems. Patients and methods A case–control nested cross-sectional study was carried out on 92 workers in all licensed fuel supply stations in Shebin El-Kom district, Menoufia governorate, and 92 nonoccupationally exposed matched participants matched for age and sex were selected as a nonexposed group. Environmental studies for light-chain aromatic hydrocarbons [benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene (BTEX components)] were carried out. Neurobehavioral test battery and complete blood picture were applied. Results The mean values of BTEX levels (3.69 ± 1.88, 120.59 ± 1.17, 133.70 ± 7.20, and 114.35 ± 6.86 ppm, respectively) were higher than the threshold limit value of the American Conference of Governmental and Industrial Hygienists (0.5, 100, 100, and 100 ppm for BTEX, respectively). Fuel supply station workers had significantly lower performance on the neurobehavioral test battery than nonexposed participants (P < 0.001). Hematological findings including hemoglobin% and platelet count were significantly lower among the exposed workers (13.73 ± 1.13 and 247.36 ± 57.69, respectively) than the nonexposed participants (14.18 ± 0.94 and 268.46 ± 46.83, respectively) (P = 0.004 and 0.007, respectively). Conclusion Exposure to BTEX concentrations higher than permissible levels resulted in deteriorated performance on the neurobehavioral test battery and abnormal hematological findings in exposed workers. Regular use of good-quality personal protective equipment especially masks and gloves and periodic medical examination is highly recommended.