Laboratoire de toxicologie, Département de biologie, Faculté des sciences, Université d’Annaba, 23000 Annaba, Algérie, Laboratoire de toxicologie et hygiène appliquée, Faculté des sciences pharmaceutiques, Université Bordeaux 2 Victor Segalen, 33076 Bordeaux
After the great London smog of 1952, during which more than 4,000 people died in 4 days, the combined efforts of the scientists of several disciplines, including environmental health, clinical medicine and biomedical research, raised serious concerns about the impact of air pollutants on human health. These pollutants were soon identified as important and independent risk factors for several diseases, including respiratory disorders, lung cancer, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and disturbances of blood parameters. Our study focused on the harmful action of air pollution on blood parameters. The environment around Annaba, the industrial capital of eastern Algerian, has long been subjected to aggressive air pollution, in particular by dust released from the steel complex. Experimental research was conducted on Europeus rabbits exposed to this dust. Blood samples were taken after daily exposure for 3, 7 and 21 days to 2 g of dust collected from the steel complex. Blood counts showed a reduction in haematocrit and haemoglobin, disruption in the lymphocyte and leucocyte counts, and elevated platelet levels, and smears showed spiculated red blood cells.