Workplace and ambient air monitoring of lead & other emissions at lead acid battery recycling units and survey of health impacts on workers

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Research Paper 01/10/2014
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Workplace and ambient air monitoring of lead & other emissions at lead acid battery recycling units and survey of health impacts on workers

Zunaira Afzaal, Almas Hamid, Maqsood Ahmad
J. Bio. Env. Sci.5( 4), 279-286, October 2014.
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Battery recycling units can result in significant amount of particulate emissions, especially lead, with potential to cause adverse health effects on the workers and the nearby community. The 24 registered lead acid battery recycling units in Gujranwala generate high emissions of lead (Pb), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter 10 (PM10). The present study aimed at monitoring air emissions at workplace and surrounding residential areas of these units and identifies impacts on the health of workers. For this purpose, workplace, as well as ambient air monitoring of surrounding areas, was carried out. Questionnaire survey was administered in order to gather information regarding workplace safety conditions, and health of workers. The results showed higher Pb concentration in each unit with the highest concentration of 3000 µg/m3 measured in Mohammad Hafeez condemned battery unit and lowest 87 µg/m3 in Admiral Battery Works. The highest concentration of SO2 was 0.163 ppm while lowest was 0.05 ppm .The highest CO concentration was 310 mg/m3 and lowest was 8.2 mg/m3 compared to OSHA standard of 57 mg/m3.The highest PM10 concentration was 1689 µg/m3 and lowest was 317 µg/m3 . Among residential areas around recycling units the highest concentrations of Pb, CO, SO2 and PM10 were observed at Bajwa Road (Pb as 1870 µg/m3, CO 47.3 mg/m3, SO2 as 0.086 ppm and PM10 as 449.2 µg/m3). The lowest concentration of Pb was 500 µg/m3 in Gala Kausar Fanwala which also showed lowest CO as 20.6 mg/m3. The lowest concentrations of SO2 and PM10 were monitored in Kangniwala, as SO2 was 0.049 ppm and PM10 was 315 µg/m3. The working conditions at these units were also un satisfactory with lack of health and safety. protective measures.


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