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Assessment of Industrial Antimony Exposure and Immunologic Function for Workers in Taiwan

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Department of Public Health, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 404, Taiwan
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Department of Health Management, College of Medicine, I-Shou University, 8 Yida Road, Yanchao District, Kaohsiung 824, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070689
Received: 7 May 2017 / Revised: 24 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
This study investigated antimony exposure among employees in industries in Taiwan and evaluated whether their immunologic markers were associated with antimony exposure. We recruited 91 male workers and 42 male office administrators from 2 glass manufacturing plants, 1 antimony trioxide manufacturing plants, and 2 engineering plastic manufacturing plants. Air samples were collected at worksites and administrative offices, and each participant provided specimens of urine, blood, and hair to assay antimony levels. We also determined white blood cells, lymphocyte, and monocyte, IgA, IgE, and IgG in blood specimens. The mean antimony concentration in the air measured at worksites was much higher in the antimony trioxide plant (2.51 ± 0.57 mg/m3) than in plastic plants (0.21 ± 0.06 mg/m3) and glass plants (0.14 ± 0.01 mg/m3). Antimony levels in blood, urine, and hair measured for participants were correlated with worksites and were higher in workers than in administrators. The mean serum IgG, IgA, and IgE levels were lower in workers than in administrators (p < 0.001). Serum IgA and IgE levels in participants were negatively associated with antimony levels in air samples of workplaces, and in blood, urine, and hairs of participants. Serum IgG and IgE of all participants were also negatively associated with antimony levels in their hairs. In conclusion, the antimony exposure is greater for workers employed in the five industrial plants than for administrators. This study suggests serum IgG, IgA, and IgE levels are negatively associated with antimony exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimony; antimony trioxide; biomarker; engineering plastics; glass; immunologic function; IgG; IgA; IgE antimony; antimony trioxide; biomarker; engineering plastics; glass; immunologic function; IgG; IgA; IgE
MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, C.-C.; Chen, Y.-C. Assessment of Industrial Antimony Exposure and Immunologic Function for Workers in Taiwan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 689.

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