Fluorine elimination in shiftworkers exposed to hydrogen fluoride

G. Costa, V. Cocheo, E. Gaffuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


31 shiftworkers (3x8) at weekly and shorter rotation employed in a chemical plant and exposed to hydrogen fluoride in 3 departments with different levels of environmental pollution (below the TLV, however), have been studied. The urine of these subjects was collected every 8 hr during workdays, and the urinary volume, fluoride, creatinine, sodium and potassium excretion were determined. The fluoride elimination showed a relation with the environmental concentrations; it was greater during the 8 hr following work and increased after every subsequent shift; it reached and exceeded the biological TLV in the workers employed in the department with higher environmental concentrations after the third workday, showing a continuous storage in the body, which is not completely eliminated during the day of rest. A significant difference emerged in sodium and potassium excretion between the 3 shifts; night-shiftworkers showed a pattern reverse to that of day-shiftworkers, while the latter appeared totally reduced in the night-shiftworkers. The authors point out that in programming shift schedules it is very important also to consider the presence of pollutants in the working environment, even if they are at concentrations below the TLV, in order to avoid storage in the body; in any case, in addition to the improvement of environmental conditions, it is necessary to do shift-work at very short rotations with intervals as long as possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90
Number of pages1
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Physiology


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