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Toxicological analysis of the risk of lead exposure in metal processing

Ivan M Krstić
Vesna B Lazarević
Goran L Janaćković
Nenad S Krstić
Nemanja Anastasijević
Dragan M Djordjević
Dejan Dulanović


Purpose: To evaluate toxicological risks for workers who are exposed to lead in their work environment.
Methods: Since it is an important indicator of toxicological risk, a statistical analysis of lead concentration and biological lead toxicity markers in blood and urine were performed for both exposed and control groups. Both experimental groups consisted of employees from "NISSAL" JSC factory. Analytical epidemiological method in the form of a retrospective cohort study was applied, and covered the period from 2001 to 2010. The concentration of lead, δ-aminolevulinic acid, and coproporphyrin in biological samples were determined by spectrophotometric methods.
Results: The results showed a high positive correlation between lead concentrations in blood and urine and the length of exposure of the participants (p < 0.01). Also, increase of lead concentration in the biological material significantly increased δ-aminolevulinic acid (p < 0.01) and slightly increased the concentration of coproporphyrin, both of which are important indicators of toxicological risk.
Conclusion: The control group of employees belonged to the normal risk category, while the exposed group belonged to a moderate risk category. Correlation between the monitored parameters is statistically significant at p < 0.01 and p < 0.05.

Keywords: Lead, δ-Aminolevulinic acid, Coproporphyrin, Chronic exposure, Toxicity, Correlation