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This is a systematical report on the potential health risk of heavy metals from the leather industries in Pakistan based on multiple biological matrices of the exposed workers and indoor dust samples. The adverse impacts of heavy metals on the oxidative enzyme and their risks to workers' health were also explored. Our results indicated that the level of Cr in indoor industrial dust was more than twice, compared to the background household dust. Blood, urine and hair samples of exposed workers showed significantly high concentrations of heavy metals, compared to those in the control group. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) level in the blood samples expressed significant positive correlation with Cr and Ni. Total hazard quotients (HQs)/hazard index (HI) were >1, and Cr (VI) exhibited higher cancer risks than that of Cd in the exposed workers. In addition, the PCA-MLR analysis confirmed that the industrial sections; cutting, shivering/crusting, and stitching were the principal contributors of heavy metals in the biological entities of the workers. Taken together, our results highlighted the occupationally exposed groups would likely to experience the potential health risks due to excessive exposure to the heavy metals from the leather industries.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Scientific reports
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