Effects of Gasoline Poisoning on Some Hematological Parameters

Research Article

Ann Hematol Oncol. 2016; 3(4): 1087.

Effects of Gasoline Poisoning on Some Hematological Parameters

Seriki SA*, Adebayo OF, Shafe MO and Bivan ZK

Department of Human Physiology, Bingham University, Nigeria

*Corresponding author: Seriki Adinoyi, Department of Human Physiology, College of Medicine Bingham University, Nigeria

Received: May 31, 2016; Accepted: June 27, 2016; Published: June 29, 2016


Background: Gasoline, also known as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is a major product of crude oil used in Nigeria and other parts of the world for fueling engines. Workers with industries and stations where this product is refined or sold to motorists are exposed to its poisoning either by inhalation or diet contamination. The present study investigated the effects of inhaled gasoline and gasoline-contaminated diets on some hematological parameters of Wister rats after three weeks (21 days) of chronic exposure.

Method: Thirty (30) rats used for the study were grouped into three (n=10). Group 1 served as the control group and was given normal rat feeds and water, Group 2 was exposed to gasoline inhalation, and Group 3 was treated with gasoline-contaminated feeds. Blood was collected through retro-orbital puncture on the 22nd day (i.e., 24 hours after the final day of exposure).

Result: Gasoline caused significant increase (P< 0.05) in total white blood cell (WBC) count. Though not significant, there was a decrease in the red blood cell (RBC) and packed cell volume (PCV) in the treated groups when compared with the control group. The protracted exposure to gasoline also caused significant increase in platelet count (PLT).

Conclusion: Protracted exposure to gasoline (either by inhalation or contamination) is generally detrimental to blood parameters and the general health of an individual. Workers engaged with gasoline companies should therefore find a way of reducing chronic exposure to gasoline.

Keywords: Gasoline; Red blood cell; White blood cell; Platelet; Packed cell volume


Hematology is the science of the blood, its formation and functions. It encompasses the study of blood cells and coagulation, which includes analyses of the concentration, structure, and function of cells in blood; their precursors in the bone marrow; chemical constituents of plasma or serum intimately linked with blood cell structure and function; and function of platelets and proteins involved in blood coagulation.

Blood is a specialized body fluid that delivers necessary substances to the body’s cells such as nutrients and oxygen. It also transports waste products away from those same cells. Blood is the most important body fluid that governs vital functions of the body like respiration, circulation, excretion, osmotic balance and transport of metabolic substance. Circulation of the blood within the cardiovascular system is essential for transportation of gases, nutrients, minerals, metabolic products and hormones between different organs [1].

Blood is composed of two components, namely; Plasma (55%) and Blood cells (45%).Plasma is a straw color clear liquid part of the blood. It contains 91-92% of water and 8-9% solids, while the blood cells are of three main types namely; Red Blood Cells (RBC) or Erythrocytes, White Blood Cells (WBC) or Leukocytes, and Platelets or Thrombocytes [2].

Red Blood Cells are the non-nucleated formed elements in the blood, and the count normally, ranges between 4.2-5.9 million/mm³ in humans. It has a shape of biconcave disc, about 7μm in diameter and 2.2μm thick. Their unique shape relates to their function of transporting oxygen. The red color of the cells is due to the presence of hemoglobin. They are mainly formed in the hematopoietic stem cells of the bone marrow by erythropoiesis and have a life span of about 120 days.

White Blood Cells, on the other hand, are the colorless and nucleated formed elements of the blood. They are larger in size and lesser in number when compared with the red blood cells. WBCs are either granulocytes or agranulocytes. Generally they are; Neutrophils (54-62%), Eosinophils (1-3%), Basophils (less than 1%), Monocytes (3-9%), and Lymphocytes (25-33%). The Life span of each white blood cell and functions differ. The white blood cell count ranges between 5000-10000/mm³ in human.

Platelets are the formed elements of the blood. They are small colorless, non-nucleated and moderately refractive bodies. Platelet count ranges between 100000-140000/mm³ [3].

Other blood parameters include packed cell volume (PCV) which is an important parameter used to express the proportion of red blood cell in percentage and this is significant in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as anemia. The normal range is 38-42% in females and 40-45% in males. Also, there are some other blood indices measured for the purpose of diagnosis. They include;

1. Mean corpuscular volume

2. Mean corpuscular hemoglobin

3. Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration

4. Color index.

Blood parameters are probably the more rapid and detectable variations under stress and fuel assessing the health condition [4]. The importance of hematological parameters in clinical biochemistry, population genetics and medical anthropology is well established. Speculations have shown that they may be used as valuable indicators of disease or stress in animals [5].

The use of gasoline in the industries and homes has rapidly increased in the recent times. In the course of usage, individuals are frequently exposed to pollutants from it in both outdoor and indoor environments. However, the major route of exposure is inhalation by workers during production and distribution of the fuel, and by the general public during refueling at service stations [6].

Gasoline, one of the fractionated products of crude oil, is widely used as fuels for automobiles and some electricity generating machines. It is known to be a very volatile liquid, with several organic and inorganic constituents. Gasoline vapour may be derived from direct evaporation of liquid gasoline [7].

Exposures to these pollutants are common in the refineries, oil fields, refueling stations, petrochemical industries, motor mechanical workshops, and traffic-congested areas. However, the population at greater risk of frequent exposure includes those occupationally exposed [8]. It has been reported that the oil drillers, refinery workers, petrochemical workers, refuel station attendants and motor mechanics suffer the greater risk of chronic exposures to petroleum pollutants [9], and are therefore more likely to come down with blood related abnormalities.

Materials and Methods


Gasoline was purchased from Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) filling station located in Karu. And was stored in a non-corrosive container and used during the course of the experiment. Other materials include: Steel cages, Test tubes, EDTA bottles- heparinised bottle, Cotton wool, Capillary tube, Dissecting kit, Hand gloves, Masking tape

Experimental animals

Wistar Albino rats weighing between 100g and 130g were used in this experiment. The rats obtained from the Animal house of National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Jos town Plateau State, Nigeria, were kept at the Animal House of Bingham University, Karu, Nassarawa State to acclimatize for three weeks before the experiment.

They were housed in well ventilated stainless-steel cages at room temperature (24±2°C) in hygienic condition under natural light and dark schedule and were fed on standard laboratory diet. Food and water were given ad libitum.

Experimental design

The rats were divided into three (3) groups of ten rats each. The LD50 value of petrol was obtained as 127 mL/kg body weight of rats (Figure 1).

Citation: Seriki SA, Adebayo OF, Shafe MO and Bivan ZK. Effects of Gasoline Poisoning on Some Hematological Parameters. Ann Hematol Oncol. 2016; 3(4): 1087. ISSN : 2375-7965