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Effects of chromic acid exposure on immunological parameters among electroplating workers

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Objective: To investigate the immunological parameters of chromic acid exposure among electroplating workers. Methods: Forty-six subjects were selected from five electroplating plants in central Taiwan. Each subject was interviewed by questionnaire, and urine chromium (urine-Cr) concentration was assessed. Immunological parameters were evaluated by interleukin (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-α, IFN-γ) and levels of lymphocyte subsets (T-cell, B-cell, T4, T8 and T4/T8). Results: Levels of IL-6 and IL-8 significantly increased in subjects with high urine–Cr concentration, but TNF-α levels decreased. IL-2, IL-4, IL-10 and IFN-γ were undetected. Flow cytometry was used to determine levels of lymphocyte subsets: only B-cells percentage had a negative correlation with urine-Cr. Smoking was an important factor that influenced levels of lymphocyte subsets. Conclusion: Exposure to Cr has a detrimental effect on the immune system, so it is evident that worker exposure to chromic acid in the electroplating workplace must be reduced to a minimum.

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Correspondence to Hsien-Wen Kuo.

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Kuo, HW., Wu, ML. Effects of chromic acid exposure on immunological parameters among electroplating workers. IAOEH 75, 186–190 (2002).

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