Environnement, Risques & Santé


Hematological and biochemical profiles in tannery workers not exposed to chromium: An epidemiological study Ahead of print


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1 Laboratory of Biomedical and Translational Research
Faculty of Medicine
Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University
30000 Fez
2 Pharmaco-Toxicology service of CHU Hassan II
Sidi Harazem
Shore Park street
30070 Fez
3 National School of Public Health of Rabat
4 Laboratory of Epidemiology, Clinical Research and Community Health
Faculty of Medicine
Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University
30000 Fez
* Corresponding author

The purpose of this study was to investigate hematological, biochemical and toxicological parameters among traditional tannery workers (TTW) to verify the absence of chromium exposure and its impact on tanners’ health.


Blood samples from 220 tannery workers and 220 age-matched referents were collected for hematological, biochemical and blood chromium assays. Data were collected by questionnaire-based interviews and laboratory analyses. Chromium levels in blood samples were analyzed with ICP-MS.


Findings showed a lower percentage of quantifiable blood chromium among tanners than among the reference subjects (4.1% vs. 24.5%), which confirms the absence of Cr exposure in traditional tanneries. No significant differences were found in blood parameters between the TTW and the referents, except for white blood cells and platelet counts. These differences in mean values were nonetheless very small and probably not clinically significant. Some changes were noted in biochemical parameters in TTW compared with the reference group, specifically in levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), creatinine and glucose. However, these changes remained within normal values.


No evidence of adverse hematological and biochemical effects was observed among workers in Moroccan traditional tanneries. This study also obtained information about blood chromium levels in residents of Fez city in central Morocco.