NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Occupational lead poisoning in the United States: clinical and biochemical findings related to blood lead levels.

Authors
Baker-EL Jr.; Landrigan-PJ; Barbour-AG; Cox-DH; Folland-DS; Ligo-RN; Throckmorton-J
Source
Bureau of Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia; :1-32
Link
NIOSHTIC No.
00193991
Abstract
A study was made of 160 lead (7439921) exposed workers at a secondary lead smelter, a small scrap smelter, and a lead chemicals facility to investigate dose response relationships between blood lead levels and toxic effects. The levels of blood lead ranged from percent of the total number, clinical evidence of toxic exposure was detected including colic in 33, wrist or ankle extensor muscle weakness in 12, anemia in 27, elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) in 28, and possible encephalopathy in two. At blood lead levels below 1.93micromol/l no toxicity was detected. However, 13 percent of those workers with blood lead levels of 1.93 to 3.81micromol/l had extensor muscle weakness or gastrointestinal symptoms. In 5 percent of the workers with lead levels of 1.93 to 2.85micromol/l, anemia was noted. Anemia was also noted in 14 percent with levels between 2.90 and 3.81micromol/l and in 36 percent with levels over 3.86micromol/l. In long term lead workers elevated BUN occurred. All but three workers with elevated BUN had at least 4 years of occupational lead exposure, and nine had received oral chelation therapy. Eight of this group had reduced creatinine clearance and eight had decreased renal concentrating ability. These findings supported the establishment of a permissible biological limit for blood lead at a level between 1.93 and 2.90micromol/l.
Keywords
Blood-analysis; Lead-poisoning; Lead-smelting; Muscle-function; Neuromuscular-system-disorders; Heavy-metals; Gastrointestinal-system-disorders; Occupational-exposure
CAS No.
7439-92-1
Document Type
Other
NTIS Accession No.
PB90-194564
NTIS Price
A04
Source Name
Bureau of Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia
State
GA
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division