Field evaluation of a portable blood lead analyzer in workers living at a high altitude: a follow-up investigation.
Taylor-L; Ashley-KE; Jones-RL; Deddens-JA
Am J Ind Med 2004 Dec; 46(6):656-662
Field-portable instruments can offer expeditious analytical results to health professionals in field settings and in areas lacking laboratory infrastructure. This study further evaluated an electroanalytical field-portable instrument, which rapidly analyzes blood lead concentrations. A portable anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV) instrument was evaluated utilizing paired samples from 243 employees working at an elevation of approximately 3,800 meters in Peru. Each worker donated two venous blood samples, one of which was analyzed by the ASV device and the other by a reference analytical method, graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS). According to the GFAAS results, the mean blood lead concentration measured was 46(+/-16) g/dl; this was significantly greater than the mean ASV measurement of 32(+/-11) g/dl (paired t-test; P < 0.0001). The accuracy of the ASV estimation decreased as the measured blood lead concentration increased. The results from this investigation were significantly different from the previous study, which was conducted near sea level. The exact causes for the discrepancies between the portable ASV results from the two studies are unclear, but are thought to be related to differences in blood chemistry between the Midwestern United States and Peruvian Andes worker cohorts. Portable ASV blood lead measurements from populations living at high altitudes should be viewed with caution.
Lead-compounds; Workers; Blood-analysis; Occupational-exposure; Smelting; Smelters; Health-care-personnel; Analytical-methods; Altitude; Demographic-characteristics
Lauralynn Taylor, CDC/NIOSH, 4676 Columbia Parkway, M. S. R-14, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226-1998
American Journal of Industrial Medicine