International Journal of Hematology and Oncology 2024, Vol 34, Num 1 Page(s): 169-174
Correlation Between Iron Deficiency and Lead Intoxication in the Workers of a Car Battery Plant

Mohammad R. KERAMATI1, Mohammad H. SADEGHIAN2, Mahdi MOOD3

1Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Neonatal Research Center, Mashhad, IRAN
2Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Department of Hematopathology, Mashhad, IRAN
3Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Medical Toxicology Research Center, Mashhad, IRAN

Keywords: Lead, Anemia, Ferritin, Iron deficiency, Hemoglobin, Intoxication
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional anemia in developed and developing countries. In addition, lead intoxication especially in developing countries is an increasing risk for health, because of rapid urbanization and consumption of leaded fuels. Many studies particularly in children have showed a correlation between iron deficiency and high blood lead concentration. In this study, we have evaluated this association in workers of a car battery manufacturer.

This research was performed on workers who exposed to lead in a factory of car battery of Mashhad, Iran in 2006. Hematological tests including complete blood counts (CBC) and serum ferritin concentration (radioimmunoassay method) were measured. Blood lead concentration (BLC) was estimated by heated graphite atomization technique of an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Perkin Elemer, Model 3030). Results analyzed by the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS, version 11.5), using statistical tests including independent samples t-test, Mann- Whitney U test, Fisher’s exact test and Pearson's correlation coefficient. P value < 0.05 was considered as a significant level.

Based on clinical (lead line) and laboratory observation, all workers had lead intoxication with mean BLC of 32.2± 13.7 μg/dl. There were no statistical significant difference on mean BLC in iron deficient (n= 11) and non iron deficient workers (n= 78). There were also no significant correlation between BLC and either serum ferritin or blood hemoglobin (r= 0.18, p value= 0.091 and r= 0.051, p value= 0.682, respectively).

In this study, we did not observe any correlation between BLC with either serum ferritin or hemoglobin or the other blood parameters. However, similar research in a larger population is required to make a general conclusion.