Composite examinations of 116 persons, employees of Phosphate Fertilizers Plant in Gdansk, with an average length of service ca. 15 years, were carried out. It was found that the frequency of occurrence of the chronic non-specific diseases of the lungs was not higher than in other works where dust and gaseous hazards of respiratory tract occur. However, at persons with longer length of service, the long-term effects of fluorine influence were found. They were revealed in disturbances of the carbohydrates balance and mineral balance, with radiographically seen thickening of the osseous structure.
In our research no essential changes in blood morphology and kidneys function were found, as well as estimation of liver efficiency was positive. The biggest number of changes which indicate toxic effect of fluorine, was found while analysing sugar curves and phosphorus-calcium-magnesium balance. Six cases of diabetes, 4 of them of early type were diagnosed, mainly in production division.
On an average, the biggest levels of sugar unfed as well as after administering of glucose, were found at the employees, who dispatched superphosphate, then little lower, at those who produced this fertilizers and phosphoric acid. The disturbances in carbohydrates balance were found at the employees of Phosphate Fertilizers Plant in Szczecin (27), and even at dockers who worked short time with loading/discharging of phosphorites and apatites (8). The number of diabetes cases found is bigger than the average for Polish population, in which according to Kodejszko, are 1-1.5% of cases of diabetes with clinic symptoms and, approximately, 1,5% cases of latent diabetes (19).
Hyperfluorinaemia, which is found at the workers employed in phosphates plants, exposed to long term contact with fluorine compounds, can lead into disturbances in mineral balance. These disturbances occur first of all in balance of such elements as calcium and phosphorus. It is thought that one of the reasons of this occurrence is an inhibiting effect of fluorine ions on alkaline phosphatase activity. The activators of the latter are, among other things ions of magnesium (19). …