Chromium is one of the widely used heavy metal used on industrial scale and is root cause of a number of health related problems in humans as well as animals. Chromium not only release into environment from natural sources but also from industries. Tanning of leather include various steps ranging from pretreatment to dying which involves workers direct contact with chemicals like chromium and which is responsible for causing serious health problems. Present study was conducted for quantitative estimation of chromium in nail samples of workers of hide market situated in Shadbagh Lahore near Railway station. General health condition of workers was also assessed through questionnaire. Nail samples of workers were collected, treated, then analyzed in atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS), and results obtained were than analyzed statistically. Results thus gathered were also compared reported values under permissible limit. From results it has been confirmed that concentration of chromium (0.6540 ± 0.039 mg/kg) is significantly high in workers of hide market and they are also suffering from different respiratory problems, skin allergies, and blood pressure. It has also been concluded that this problem is needed to be tackled by adoption of remedial and mitigation measures. Effective and substantial programs are recommended for increasing public awareness about chromium contamination and health effects by social mobilization and community participation.
Key words: Chromium, Nails, Hide market, Workers and health effects