Investigation of occupational exposure to lead and its relation with blood lead levels in electrical solderers

  • Mahmoud Mohammadyan
  • Mahmood Moosazadeh
  • Abasalt Borji
  • Narges Khanjani
  • Somayeh Rahimi MoghadamEmail author


Occupational exposure to lead compounds can cause headache, nausea, encephalopathy, anemia, chronic muscle pain, and saturnism. Exposure to lead in women can affect fertility, and cause abortion or low IQ in the offspring. The aim of this study was to investigate occupational exposure to lead and its relation with blood lead levels in female electrical parts solderers. This cross-sectional (descriptive and analytical) study was carried out on 40 female solderers, working in two electrical parts manufacturing factories in Neyshabur city in 2017–2018. Occupational exposure to lead was determined by the OSHA 121 method, and the NIOSH 8003 method was used to determine the concentration of lead in blood. Lead in blood and air samples were determined by using a flame atomic absorption analyzer. Blood was measured using a Cell Dyn Hematology device. Data were analyzed using STATA 15. The mean age of the solderers was 35.42 ± 6.80 years, and their average work experience was 7.85 ± 5.60 years. Mean occupational exposure to lead was 0.09 ± 0.01 mg/m3, and the mean levels of lead in the blood of solderers were 10.59 ± 3.25 μg/dL. The mean of red blood cells (RBC) was 4.88 mil/uL, white blood cells (WBC) = 8.53 Tho/uL, hemoglobin = 14.02 g/dL, and hematocrit = 42.38%. There was a significant correlation between the concentrations of lead in air and the level of lead in workers’ blood (p = 0.012, r = 0.31). The level of lead in the workers’ respiratory region (β = 0.36, p = 0.033), body mass index (β = 0.25, p = 0.028), and the season of the year (β = 0.21, p = 0.019) were the strongest factors affecting blood lead levels. There was a significant relation between lead in workers’ air and their blood, although all blood indices were in normal range. Using lead-free alloys and local ventilation systems, and reducing exposure times are recommended to decrease exposure to lead among solderers.


Lead Occupational exposure Soldering Electronics industry Blood indices 



The authors thank Dr. Abedi, Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry and the Simorgh Pharmaceutical Industry which helped in preparing and analyzing the samples.

Funding information

This study was conducted with the financial support of both Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences and Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, and by grant number 3036-96.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Science Research Center, Addiction InstituteMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran
  2. 2.Basic Science DepartmentNeyshabur University of Medical SciencesNeyshaburIran
  3. 3.Environmental Health Engineering Research CenterKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  4. 4.Health Sciences Research Center, Addiction InstituteMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran

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