A comparison of lead exposures in industrial "hot spots" in Jordan and Israel

Zein Nsheiwat, Eran Kozer, Matitiahu Berkovitch, Alon Tal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to compare two hot spots of lead (Pb) exposure in Israeli and Jordanian occupational settings. The study also sought to assess whether any differences in regulations and legislation regarding occupational health could be identified as a source of exposure disparities. Blood and hair specimens were collected from workers in a battery factory in Jordan and a secondary Pb smelter in Israel and compared. About 33% of the currently exposed group showed blood lead (BPb) levels above the internationally recommended concentration of 40 μg dL-1. Although the differences of BPb levels between Israel and Jordan were not statistically significant, average levels were lower in Jordan. Beyond the difference in the factory types, disparity in exposure levels might be explained due to a combination of proclivities of factory management, public policies, existing medical surveillance and insurance, as well as cultural differences. Results reveal that despite existing regulations and the growing attention that is dedicated to Pb and metal occupational exposures, there are still hot spots for Pb exposure in Israel and Jordan. The contrasting experience found in the current study raises the possibility that information and technology exchange between the two countries Israel and Jordan, may be beneficial for improving occupational health policy in these two neighboring countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-682
Number of pages14
JournalToxicological and Environmental Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Battery factories
  • Blood lead levels
  • Hair
  • International cooperation
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lead smelters
  • Occupational lead exposures


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