Occupational risk assessment of exposure to metals in chrome plating workers


Inhalation of xenobiotics during manufacture process in chrome plating bath produce hazards to workers’ health. Chromium (Cr) is a metal widely used by industry, and its hexavalent (VI) form has been classified as mutagenic and carcinogenic. This study aimed to evaluate the occupational risk of exposure to metals in chrome plating workers. Biological monitoring was performed through quantification of Cr, Pb, As, Ni, and V in blood by ICP-MS in 50 male chrome-plating workers from the exposed group and 50 male non-exposed workers. The inflammatory parameters assessed were ?-2 integrin, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and L-selectin expression in lymphocytes. The genotoxicity was evaluated with comet and micronucleus (MN) assays and as a biomarker of oxidative damage the lipid peroxidation (MDA) and protein carbonyl (PCO). The results demonstrated that Cr levels in blood and urine were increased in the exposed group compared to the non-exposed group. Although the biomarkers of exposure proved to be within the levels considered safe in exposed individuals, chrome plating workers presented significantly increase in the percentage of lymphocytes expressing ?-2 integrin, ICAM-1, and L-selectin as well as DNA damage (comet assay) and plasmatic MDA and PCO levels. Therefore, it is possible also assign the injuries caused to lipids, proteins, and DNA assessed due to the increased presence of other metals such as Pb, As, Ni, and V in exposed subjects. These results suggest that exposure to xenobiotics present in the occupational environment in chrome plating industry could play a crucial role toward the inflammation, genetic, and oxidative damage.

Authors: Muller CD, Garcia SC, Burcker N, Goethel G, Sauer E, Lacerda LM, Oliveira E,Trombini TL, Machado AB, Pressotto A, Rech VC, Klauck CR, Basso da Silva L, Gioda A, Feksa LR
; Full Source: Drug and chemical toxicology. 2020 Feb 27:1-8. doi: 10.1080/01480545.2020.1731527. [Epub ahead of print]