Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2005;31(4):286-290    pdf


Effect of impulse vibration on red blood cells in vitro

by Ando H, Nieminen K, Toppila E, Starck J, Ishitake T

Objectives This study was carried out to evaluate the damage induced in red blood cells by exposure to impulse vibration.

Methods The peak accelerations of impulse vibration included 50, 100, 200, 250 and 300 × 103 km/s2. A blood sample was put in a container filled with heparin so that there was no space inside. For each peak acceleration the exposure durations of 10, 20, and 30 minutes were used. The repetition rate of the impulses was 1 cycle per second (1 cycle/s). After the vibration exposure, the percentage of damaged red blood cells was calculated. Then the red blood cells were studied microscopically.

Results Each vibration caused damage to red blood cells with all durations. The higher the peak acceleration and the longer the exposure duration, the more the damage to the red blood cells. Of the five impulse vibration levels with the three exposure durations, the largest damage was done by the vibration exposure with a peak acceleration of 300 km/s2 for 30 minutes with a mean value of 76.7% for the damaged cells, followed by the exposure with a peak acceleration of 300 km/s2 for 20 minutes with 55.5% of the cells being damaged. For exposure for 20 and 30 minutes, the vibration with peak accelerations of higher than 200 km/s2 provoked damage to red blood cells out of proportion to those with peak accelerations lower than 200 km/s2.

Conclusions Impulse vibration was shown in vitro to cause damage to red blood cells. It is suggested that the damage of red blood cells depends on both the peak acceleration and exposure duration of impulse vibration.