Benzene exposure is one of the main health concerns for occupations with risk of exposure to volatile solvents such as petrol pump workers. Human exposure to benzene is associated with multiple adverse health effects including pancytopenia, hence aplastic anaemia and an increased risk of developing cancer (acute myeloblastic leukemia). Morphological effect on RBCs (microcytosis) also occurs. This cross sectional descriptive study involved workers at fuel stations in Kosti and Rabak cities, White Nile State, during December 2014-March 2015 and aimed to determine any alterations in haematological parameters among these employees. Workers at fifty fuel stations were recruited to participate, individually giving written informed consent. Venous blood (2.5 ml) was taken into EDTA containers and a full blood count (FBC) was done for each participant, using a fully automated haematology analyzer (Sysmex). The results from the fuel stations workers include the following high prevalence of abnormalities: Fifty percent had low haemoglobin levels, 60 percent low RBS counts (although 30% were higher than normal), haematocrit readings showed 24% with reduced values and for MCV 92% were reduced. Half of the participants showed microcytic cytology. The current study concluded that there are abnormalities in haematological parameters among fuel stations workers, particularly in Hb and RBC indices, as well as lymphocytosis and neutropenia. Workers at fuel stations should be protected from exposure to benzene by training with the equipment to minimising leakge and spillage and by wearing protective devices, such as masks and goggles. Further studies are necessary to determine the possible effects of benzene on haematological parameters among long-duration workers in fuel stations.
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