American Journal of Applied Sciences

Relationship between Nickel Exposure and the Level of Carcinoembryonic Antigen among Welders in an Automotive Plant

Chiang Lee Juan, Shamsul Bahri Mohd Tamrin, Syazwan Aizat Ismail, Ridhuan Md Dan, Mohd Roslan Sulaiman and Zailina Hashim

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2009.2078.2084

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 12

Pages 2078-2084


Background: Study on the effect of nickel exposure in the occupational setting and its association to carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) had been studied before. Questions were raised whether the result from previous study would also show the same pattern of the urinary nickel concentration in this study. Objective: A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the association between urine nickel concentration and CEA level among welders in automotive part workers in Malaysia. Methodology: There were 56 welders and 44 administrative workers were recruited in this study. Urine and blood samples were collected at the end of shift towards the end of workweek. CEA was assayed in serum using TECO Diagnostic ELISA Kit. Urinary nickel was determined by Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Results: The mean carcinoembryonic antigen concentrations of the exposed group (4.07±2.60 ng mL-1) was significantly higher (p<0.001) than the control group (1.99±0.97 ng mL-1). Twenty seven percent of the exposed group showed values above the reference range. The mean urinary nickel level was also significantly higher (p<0.001) in the exposed group (1.99±0.91 mg L-1) than the control group. Result showed correlation between serum carcinoembryonic antigen concentration and urinary nickel concentration (r = 0.206). Conclusion: The significant elevation of urinary nickel levels in the welders compared with controls suggests that the welders were exposed to nickel fumes during welding. It is suggested that elevation of serum carcinoembryonic antigen was due to exposure to nickel during welding processes after controlling other confounding factors.


© 2009 Chiang Lee Juan, Shamsul Bahri Mohd Tamrin, Syazwan Aizat Ismail, Ridhuan Md Dan, Mohd Roslan Sulaiman and Zailina Hashim. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.