Title: Risk of high blood lead levels among informal sector automobile artisans: a case study of Nakuru town, Kenya

Authors: Alfred Owino Odongo; Wilkister Nyaora Moturi; Amos Obonyo Meshack

Addresses: College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health-Mount, Kenya University, Box 342 – 01000, Thika, Kenya ' Department of Environmental, Science-Egerton University, Box 536 – 2 0107, Njoro, Kenya ' Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Egerton University, Box 536 – 2 0107, Njoro, Kenya

Abstract: Artisans in the informal automobile sector are involved in diverse occupational activities that could predispose them to health risks associated with lead exposure. A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the risk of having high blood lead levels among the artisans. Data were collected using structured questionnaire and laboratory analysis. Sixty purposively sampled participants, 30 artisans and 30 age-matched control subjects, were assessed. Lead levels in blood samples were analysed using NIOSH method 8003 and data were analysed using SPSS version 22. The artisans had four times odds of having high blood lead levels compared to the control subjects (Odds ratio = 4.0; 95% CI = 1.37 - 11.70). The study concludes that the informal automobile repair workshops pose risks of high blood lead levels to the artisans. Therefore, there is a need for occupational health and safety monitoring and intervention programmes in the informal sector automobile industry to curb such health risks.

Keywords: blood lead levels; informal sector automobile artisans; occupational lead exposure; biological exposure index.

DOI: 10.1504/IJENVH.2019.100594

International Journal of Environment and Health, 2019 Vol.9 No.3, pp.258 - 270

Received: 29 Dec 2018
Accepted: 16 Apr 2019

Published online: 28 Jun 2019 *

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