In Practice

Lead poisoning in shooting-range workers in Gauteng Province, South Africa: Two case studies

A Mathee, P de Jager, S Naidoo, N Naicker

Abstract


Background. Lead exposure constitutes a major public health concern globally. Relative to developed nations, lead exposure is understudied and poorly addressed in Africa, and there is a dearth of information available to inform lead poisoning prevention strategies, even in high-risk groups such as workers in shooting ranges who are potentially exposed to lead daily.

Methods. Two workers at a private shooting range in Gauteng, South Africa (SA), had blood lead levels and exposure histories taken.

Results. Workers had highly elevated blood lead levels and clinical symptoms associated with elevated blood lead levels.

Conclusion. Workers in private SA shooting ranges are vulnerable to lead exposure and poisoning, and scaled-up action is required to protect them and their families, as well as shooting-range users, from lead and the related health risks.


Authors' affiliations

A Mathee, Environment and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Johannesburg, South Africa; School of Public Health, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

P de Jager, School of Public Health, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, National Institute for Occupational Health, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa

S Naidoo, School of Public Health, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

N Naicker, Environment and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Johannesburg, South Africa; School of Public Health, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, National Institute for Occupational Health, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Keywords

Lead exposure; Occupational health; Shooting ranges; Lead poisoning; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2017;107(4):302-303. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2017.v107i4.12176

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-03-29
Date published: 2017-03-29

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