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Volume 2016, Article ID 9269210, 9 pages
Research Article

Heavy Metals Exposure and Hygienic Behaviors of Workers in Sanitary Landfill Areas in Southern Thailand

Department of Industrial Hygiene and Health Science, Faculty of Health and Sports Science, Thaksin University, Phatthalung 93210, Thailand

Received 3 December 2015; Revised 8 April 2016; Accepted 28 April 2016

Academic Editor: Sveinn Are Hanssen

Copyright © 2016 Somsiri Decharat. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. The main objective of this study was to assess the cadmium and lead exposure levels in subject workers that work in sanitary landfill areas in southern Thailand. The study evaluated the blood cadmium and lead levels in terms of their possible role in worker contamination and transfer of cadmium and lead to the body. Materials and Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 114 subjects. Whole blood samples were collected to determine cadmium and lead levels by graphite furnaces atomic absorption spectrometer chromium analyzer. Results and Discussion. The mean blood cadmium levels and blood lead levels of subjects workers were μg/L (range 1.58–7.03 μg/L) and μg/dL (range 1.98–11.12 μg/dL), respectively. Gender, income, smoked cigarettes, work position, duration of work, personal protective equipment (PPE), and personal hygiene were significantly associated with blood cadmium level and blood lead levels ( and ). A multiple regression model was constructed. Significant predictors of blood cadmium levels and blood lead levels included smoked cigarettes, hours worked per day, days worked per week, duration of work (years), work position, use of PPE (mask and gloves), and personal hygiene behavior (ate snacks or drank water at work and washed hands before lunch). Conclusion. The elevated body burden of toxic metals in the solid waste exposure of subject workers is an indication of occupational metal toxicity associated with personal hygiene practices.