Hematological Alterations Indicative of Benzene Exposure in a Vulnerable Southeastern Brazilian Population


Cristiane Barata-Silva, Caroline de Lima Mota, Adriane Branco, Simone Mitri, Josino Costa Moreira

Full Length Research Paper I Published October, 2018


Journal of Medical and Biological Science Research Vol. 4 (3), pp. 82-92.



Campos Elíseos, located in the Duque de Caxias municipality, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil accommodates the largest industrial complex in Latin America, comprising the second largest petrochemical company in the country (REDUC), a gas-chemical pole, a thermoelectric plant and approximately 50 other industries. Although this municipality registered the 6th highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the national ranking and the 2nd highest in the state in 2015, its Human Development Index (HDI) was of 0.753, the 52nd in the state. In this context, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the vulnerability of Campos Elíseos residents regarding environmental exposure by chemical contaminants, through questionnaires and hematological analyses. The study group comprised of adults living in Campos Elíseos for at least 3 months, totaling 190 residents. All individuals stated no access to treated water or basic sanitation. About 98% of the participants stated they believe the region is polluted. A total of 33% of the sampled individuals presented altered hemograms, characteristic of certain pathologies. Most houses belonging to individuals exhibiting hematological alterations were located near the industrial region of the area, leading to the hypothesis that the hematological alterations observed herein, such as anemia, thrombocytopenia and leucopenia, alone or associated with neutropenia, may be indicative of chronic benzene exposure.

Key words:
Vulnerability in health; public health; environmental exposure; petrochemical industry.

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