Platelet count and platelets indices of mortuary workers exposed to formaldehyde: a study in Calabar, Nigeria
Keywords:Platelets, Platelet indices, Mortuary workers, Formaldehyde
Background: Embalming chemicals such as formaldehyde has been shown to be toxic to human system. It’s carcinogenicity effect and ability to cause adverse health conditions has been reported. Formalin is the aqueous solution of formaldehyde and it is converted to H2C (OH)2 when dissolved in water. This study was done to provide information on the effect of formaldehyde on the platelet count and platelet indices of mortuary workers.
Methods: Total of 64 subjects were recruited for the study based on convenience sampling method in Calabar, Cross River State. The test group comprised of 32 mortuary workers with age ranging from 18-60 years from University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, General Hospital, Navy Hospital, Anatomy Department-University of Calabar and Infectious Disease Hospital, all in Calabar Meteropolis and 32 non-mortuary workers of the same age bracket from Calabar municipality served as control. Sample collection was by venipuncture and method of analysis was by the use of automated haematology analyzer.
Results: This study shows that mean platelet volume (MPV) and platelet distribution width were significantly increased p<0.01) in mortuary workers. The platelet count of mortuary workers were also significantly decreased (p=0.918) when compared to non-mortuary workers. Three out of thirty two mortuary workers had giant forms of platelet. The result also shows that long term exposure to formaldehyde can cause a reduction in the platelet count and platelet indices of mortuary workers.
Conclusions: This study has shown that exposure to formaldehyde has a negative alteration on the platelet count and platelet indices of mortuary workers.
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