THE RENAL FUNCTION STATUS OF METAL ELECTROPLATING WORKERS EXPOSED TO CHROMIUM VI
Chromium (Cr) is commonly used as an anti-corrosive agent. Due to its unique nature, Cr is used to coat metal in order to make it looks shiny and attractive. However, hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)), a form of chromium used in electroplating, is classified as carcinogenic substance. Its portal of entry into the human body can be through inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption. Talang District in central-Java, Indonesia is a center of informal sector’s metal electroplating industry. Electroplating workers in the informal sector rarely wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while working. This research analyzed the relation between chromium exposure, age, length of employment, and nutritional status with renal function of metal electroplaters. The subjects of this study involved 35 electroplaters from Talang with working experience ranging between 6 and 40 years. The independent variables were age, length of employment, nutritional status and exposure to chromium. Dependent variable was workers’ renal function. Urine samples were collected to determine chromium exposure and renal function based on urinary chromium and creatinine levels. Data was analyzed using chi-square test with SPSS Statistics software. The average urinary chromium and creatinine levels were 21.16 μg/L and 209.75 mg/dL respectively. This study found no relation between age and chromium levels in urine and renal function. However, length of employment and nutritional status were found to be significantly related to renal function. Although chromium exposure does not appear significantly associate with renal function, the average urinary chromium levels of metal electroplaters did exceed threshold values.
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