Renal toxicity in uranium mill workers.
Thun-MJ; Baker-DB; Steenland-K; Smith-AB; Halperin-W; Berl-T
Scand J Work, Environ & Health 1985 Apr; 11(2):83-90
The effects of long term soluble uranium (7440611) (yellowcake) exposure on the human kidney were investigated. Personnel records and employee committees were used to identify workers with past exposure to yellowcake. A total of 39 out of 42 uranium workers agreed to participate. To assess renal function, an 8 hour urine sample was collected from each worker over the workday and blood samples were drawn in the middle of the work shift. Serum and urinary beta-2-microglobulin were measured by radioimmunoassay. Serum and urinary creatinine were measured by an auto analyzer. The concentration of 26 amino acids was measured in the urine by ion exchange chromatography. Serum creatinine and creatinine clearance were used as markers of glomerular function. Renal excretion of beta- 2-microglobulin was used as an indicator of tubular reabsorption of low molecular weight proteins. The excretion of beta-2- microglobulin in the urine was significantly higher among the uranium workers. The variable which best predicted beta-2- microglobulin clearance relative to creatinine clearance was the length of time the employee had worked in the yellowcake area. The mean amino acid excretion of 22 out of 23 amino acids was higher among uranium workers than comparisons. Serum concentration of beta- 2-microglobulin was significantly higher among uranium workers than comparisons. The authors conclude that low concentrations of beta-2- microglobulin and aminoaciduria are found in workers exposed to yellowcake.
NIOSH-Author; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Trace-analysis; Renal-toxicity; Work-capacity; Work-environment; Toxicology; Trace-metals; Renal-absorption; Workplace-studies; Trace-substances;
Author Keywords: beta-2-microglobulin; chemical toxicity; nephrotoxicity; renal effects; uranium mining and milling; uranium
Dr MJ Thun, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, R-16, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health