Lead and compounds - 901 entries found
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Ostiguy C., Cordeiro R., Bensimon G., Baril M.
Portrait of the occupational lead exposure in Quebec and the blood lead levels from January 2001 to December 2008
Portrait de l'exposition professionnelle au plomb au Québec et niveaux de plombémie de janvier 2001 à décembre 2008 [in French]
The IRSST's laboratories regularly analyze air samples to determine the presence of lead in the air, with blood lead being the most common toxicological analysis. This study aims to provide information on occupational exposure to lead of workers in Quebec and covers the period from 2001 to 2008. It examines the profile of establishments which have implemented health programs and requested these types of lead-related analyses, by activity sector and administrative region. For the study period (2001 to 2008), 16,817 blood lead results are available and cover 6,717 workers in 500 companies. It is noted that the number of people with a high blood lead levels decreases steadily over time, suggesting improvement in the control of worker exposure. Other findings are discussed.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2011. v, 45p. Illus. 4 ref.
Portrait_de_l'exposition_professionnelle_au_plomb_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in French]
Boffetta P., Fontana L., Stewart P., Zaridze D., Szeszenia-Dabrowska N., Janout V., Bencko V., Foretova L., Jinga V., Matveev V., Kollarova H., Ferro G., Chow W.H., Rothman N., van Bemmel D., Karami S., Brennan P., Moore L.E.
Occupational exposure to arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and nickel, and renal cell carcinoma: A case-control study from Central and Eastern Europe
The objective of this study was to investigate the risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in Central and Eastern Europe in relation to exposure to known and suspected carcinogenic metals. During 1999-2003, a hospital-based study was conducted in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Russia, including 1097 cases of RCC and 1476 controls. Occupational exposure to arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and nickel was assessed by teams of local industrial hygiene experts, based on detailed occupational questionnaires. The odds ratios (ORs) for RCC were 1.55 for exposure to lead and 1.40 for exposure to cadmium. No clear monotonic exposure-response relation was apparent for either duration of exposure or cumulative exposure to either metal, although the OR for the highest category of cumulative exposure to lead was 2.25. Exposure to other metals did not entail an increased risk of RCC.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2011, Vol.68, No.10, p.723-728. 37 ref.
Untimanon O., Geater A., Chongsuvivatwong V., Saetia W., Utapan S.
Skin lead contamination of family members of boat-caulkers in Southern Thailand
Powdered lead oxide (Pb3O4) is used in the wooden-boat repair industry as a constituent of the caulking material. This study compared skin lead of household members of caulkers' and control homes, and examined the relationship of household member's skin lead with household floor lead loading (FLL) and dust lead content (DLC). FLL and DLC were measured in 67 caulkers' houses and 46 nearby houses with no known lead exposure. In each household, wipe specimens of skin lead were obtained from one selected family member. Hand lead loading (HdLL) and foot lead loading (FtLL) were significantly higher in family members of caulkers than controls (geometric mean 64.4 vs. 36.2 μg/m2 and 77.8 vs 43.8 μg/m2, respectively). This pattern mirrored FLL and DLC, which were also higher in caulkers' than in control houses (geometric mean 109.9 vs. 40.1 μg/m2 and 434.8 vs 80.8 μg/g, respectively). Multiple linear regression modelling revealed FLL to be a better predictor than DLC for HdLL in all age groups and for FtLL in adult family members. In conclusion, skin lead levels are elevated in family members living in a lead-exposed worker's house and are related to the levels of household lead contamination.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2011, Vol.39, No.1, p.37-46. 33 ref.
Skin_lead_contamination.pdf [in English]
Rabito F.A., Perry S., Salinas O., Hembling J., Schmidt N., Parsons P.J., Kissinger P.
A longitudinal assessment of occupation, respiratory symptoms, and blood lead levels among Latino day laborers in a non-agricultural setting
The reliance on Latin American migrant day labor in the United States is increasing. Prospective data on day laborers' work and health experience in non-agriculture settings are lacking and outcomes are generally restricted to injury rates. This study was conducted to quantify the number of job and job task changes held over 12 months in a cohort of 73 migrant day laborers and assessed the relation between work type, health symptoms and blood lead level. On average, participants worked 2.4 different jobs over the past year averaging 41.5 hr per week. Construction work was associated with a twofold increase in sinonasal and respiratory symptoms in both adjusted and unadjusted models and was associated with increased blood lead levels. It is concluded that despite day labor status, workers had relatively stable employment. Respiratory symptoms were common and often improved when away from work suggesting that workplace irritant exposure is likely. Migrant day laborers working in construction are vulnerable to adverse health effects associated with irritant and lead exposure.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.366-374. 41 ref.
Henn S.A., Sussell A.L., Lin J.T., Shire J.D., Alarcon W.A., Tak S.
Characterization of lead in US workplaces using data from OSHA's integrated management information system
Lead hazards continue to be encountered in the workplace. OSHA's Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) is the largest available database containing sampling results at United States workplaces. Personal airborne lead sampling results in IMIS were extracted for the years 1979 to 2008. Descriptive analyses, geographical mapping and regression modeling of results were performed. Seventy-nine percent of lead samples were in the manufacturing sector. Lead sample results were highest in the construction sector (median=0.03mg/m3). Lead hazards have been most prevalent in the north and northeastern regions of the United States. Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.356-365. Illus. 30 ref.
Bronze and lighting ornaments - Chiselling away safely
Lustrerie-bronze - Ciseler en toute sécurité [in French]
Clocks, candelabras, andirons, chandeliers and other objects in bronze, brass or cast iron from French ministries and embassies are renovated in the Paris workshop of the National furniture service. This article describes the tasks carried out in this workshop, together with the prevention of occupational safety and health hazards.
Travail et sécurité, Feb. 2011, No.714, p.42-44. Illus.
Lustrerie-bronze.pdf [in French]
Rodrigues E.G., Virji M.A., McClean M.D., Weinberg J., Woskie S., Pepper L.D.
Personal exposure, behavior, and work site conditions as determinants of blood lead among bridge painters
This study was conducted among 84 bridge painters in the New England area to determine the significant predictors of blood lead levels. Lead was measured in personal air and hand wipe samples that were collected during the 2-week study period and in blood samples that were collected at the beginning and at the end of the study period. The personal air and hand wipe data as well as personal behaviours (i.e., smoking, washing, wearing a respirator) and work site conditions were analyzed as potential determinants of blood lead levels using linear mixed effects models. Results show that that several individual-level and site-level factors are associated with blood lead levels among bridge painters, including lead exposure through inhalation and possible hand-to-mouth contact, personal behaviours such as smoking on site, respirator fit testing and work site conditions such as the use of better containment facilities. Accordingly, reduction in blood lead levels among bridge painters can be achieved by improving these workplace practices.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Feb. 2010, Vol.7, No.2, p.80-87. 27 ref.
Personal_exposure.pdf [in English]
Janssen L., McCullough N.V.
Elastomeric, half-facepiece, air-purifying respirator performance in a lead battery plant
This workplace protection factor (WPF) study of a half facepiece air-purifying respirator with P100 filters was done in a lead battery manufacturing plant. Paired air samples for lead were collected inside and outside respirators worn by workers who were properly trained and quantitatively fit tested. Of the 45 valid sample sets, only four had detectable lead on the inside sample. WPFs were calculated for these sample pairs by dividing the outside sample lead concentration (C(o)) by the inside concentration (C(i)). For the remaining 41 sample pairs, the detection limit for lead was used to calculate a maximum estimated C(i) concentration. The C(o) for each of these sample pairs was divided by the C(i) estimate to obtain a minimum WPF value. All the WPFs were rounded down to two significant figures, resulting in values ranging from 12 to over 2500. A rank and percentile procedure resulted in a 50th percentile WPF of 270 and a lower 5th percentile estimate of above 50. These WPFs exceed the assigned protection factor of 10 for half facepieces published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Jan. 2010, Vol.7, No.1, p.46-53. Illus. 26 ref.
Elastomeric.pdf [in English]
Dounias G., Rachiotis G., Hadjichristodoulou C.
Acute lead intoxication in a female battery worker: Diagnosis and management
This article presents a case of acute lead intoxication in a 33 year female having worked three months as a cleaner in a battery manufacturing plant. She complained of malaise that had developed in the previous two weeks. Pallor of skin and conjunctiva was the only sign found in physical examination. The blood test on admission revealed normochromic anaemia. Endoscopic investigation of the gastrointestinal system was negative for bleeding. The bone marrow biopsy was unrevealing. At baseline, no attention had been paid to patient's occupational history. The patient's occupational history was later re-evaluated, and she was screened for lead intoxication. The increased levels of the lead related biomarkers of exposure and effect confirmed the diagnosis. The patient received an oral chelating agent, resulting in an improvement in clinical picture. No side effects and no rebound effect were observed. This case report emphasizes the importance of the occupational history in the context of the differential diagnosis. Moreover, this report indicates that lead remains a significant occupational hazard especially in the small scale battery industry.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 2010, No.5:19, 4p. 15 ref.
Acute_lead_intoxication.pdf [in English]
Schwartz B.S., Caffo B., Stewart W.F., Hedlin H., James B.D., Yousem D., Davatzikos C.
Evaluation of cumulative lead dose and longitudinal changes in structural magnetic resonance imaging in former organolead workers
This study evaluated whether tibia lead was associated with longitudinal change in brain volumes and white matter lesions among male former lead workers and population-based controls in whom cognitive and structural consequences of cumulative lead dose had been previously reported. Linear regression was used to identify predictors of change in brain volumes and white matter lesion grade scores, using two magnetic resonance imaging scans an average of five years apart. On average, total brain volume declined almost 30cm3, predominantly in gray matter. Increasing age at the first magnetic resonance imaging was strongly associated with larger declines in volumes and greater increases in white matter lesion scores. Tibia lead was not associated with change in brain volumes or white matter lesion scores. Results showed that in former lead workers in whom cumulative lead dose was associated with progressive declines in cognitive function decades after occupational exposure had ended, cumulative lead dose was associated with earlier persistent effects on brain structure but not with additional worsening during five years.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2010, Vol.52, No.4, p.407-414. Illus. 38 ref.
Kaewboonchoo O., Morioka I., Saleekul S., Miyai N., Chaikittiporn C., Kawai T.
Blood lead level and cardiovascular risk factors among bus drivers in Bangkok, Thailand
This study aimed to clarify the role of blood lead level (Pb-B) as a cardiovascular risk factor. To evaluate the cardiovascular risk, the second derivative finger photoplethysmogram (SDPTG) was used. The subjects comprised of 420 male bus drivers in Thailand. The SDPTG-AI increases with age, Pb-B, smoking and alcohol consumption. There was significant correlation between Pb-B and SDPTG-AI after controlling for age, body mass index and lifestyle factors. These results suggest that Pb-B is possibly an independent cardiovascular risk factor for bus drivers exposed to lower level of lead.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2010, Vol.48, No.1, p.61-65. Illus. 18 ref.
Blood_lead_level.pdf [in English]
Lead is still widely used in the United Kingdom, and HSE recently revised its guidance on the subject, providing a reminder of its harmful effects on health. This article consists of a brief overview of the degree of exposure to lead by workers and the general population in the United Kingdom, the toxic effects of lead, cases of lead poisoning and regulations concerning the control of lead in the United Kingdom.
Safety and Health Practitioner, May 2010, Vol.28, No.5, 42-44. Illus.
Thanapop C., Geater A., Robson M.G., Phakthongsuk P.
Elevated lead contamination in boat-caulkers' homes in Southern Thailand
Powdered lead oxide (Pb3O4) is used in the wooden-boat repair industry as a constituent of the caulking material. This study compared skin lead of household members of caulkers' and control homes, and examined the relationship of household member's skin lead with household floor lead loading (FLL) and dust lead content (DLC). FLL and DLC were measured in 67 caulkers' houses and 46 nearby houses with no known lead exposure. In each household, wipe specimens of skin lead were obtained from one selected family member. Hand lead loading (HdLL) and foot lead loading (FtLL) were significantly higher in family members of caulkers than controls (geometric mean 64.4 vs. 36.2 μg/m2 and 77.8 vs 43.8 μg/m2 respectively). This pattern mirrored FLL and DLC, which were also higher in caulkers' than in control houses (geometric mean 109.9 vs. 40.1 μg/m2 and 434.8 vs 80.8 μg/m2 respectively). Multiple linear regression modelling revealed FLL to be a better predictor than DLC for HdLL in all age groups and for FtLL in adult family members. In conclusion, skin lead levels are elevated in family members living in a lead-exposed worker's house and are related to the levels of household lead contamination.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 3rd quarter 2009, Vol.15, No.3, p.282-290. 29 ref.
Elevated_lead_contamination.pdf [in English]
Hurtado C.M., Gutiérrez M., Echeverry J.
Clinical aspects and lead levels in children paraoccupationally exposed to the process of recycling car batteries in Soacha and Bogotá D.C.
Aspectos clínicos y niveles de plomo en niños expuestos de manera paraocupacional en el proceso de reciclaje de baterías de automóviles en Soacha y Bogotá D.C. [in Spanish]
Following a case of lead poisoning in a city of Colombia, this study was undertaken to establish blood lead levels in children indirectly exposed to lead through the battery recycling activities of close relatives or neighbours. Thirty-two children under the age of twelve were studied. All subjects showed high levels of blood lead (2-9 times maximum acceptable values). There was evidence of Burton lines, indicative of lead poisoning. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Salud, Trabajo y Ambiente, 3rd quarter 2009, Vol.16, No.1, p.17-25. Illus. 44 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Lead and you
Working with lead can affect health. This leaflet aimed at workers explains the health problems that can occur if they absorb too much lead, what the employer should do to protect workers' health and the precautions the workers should take when working with lead.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, Nov. 2009. 8p. Illus. 5 ref.
HSE_Booklet_INDG_305(rev1).pdf [in English]
Romeo L., Catalani S., Pasini F., Bergonzi R., Perbellini L., Apostoli P.
Xenobiotic action on steroid hormone synthesis and sulfonation - The example of lead and polychlorinated biphenyls
This study investigated the metabolism of steroid hormones to determine whether and how xenobiotics such as lead (Pb) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) interfere with steroid hormone biotransformation in humans. Three groups of subjects were tested for urinary steroids: 14 workers exposed to lead, 15 workers exposed to PCBs and an unexposed control group of 25 subjects. Findings suggest PCBs and Pb act on steroid hormone metabolism with different effects and only partially using the same hormone pathways.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2009, Vol.82, No.5, p.557-564. Illus. 31 ref.
Hurtado C.M., Gutiérrez M., Echeverry J.
Clinical aspects of blood lead among children para-professionally exposed to the process of recycling of automobile batteries in Soacha and Bogota
Aspectos clínicos y niveles de plomo en niños expuestos de manera paraocupacional en el proceso de reciclaje de baterías de automóviles en Soacha y Bogotá D.C. [in Spanish]
This study examines the clinical aspects of blood lead among children whose parents work in the recycling of automobile batteries in Columbia. It involved 32 children aged below 12 years among whom signs and symptoms of lead poisoning were investigated. A significant correlation was found between the diagnosis (including anorexia, abdominal pain, Burton's line) and blood lead.
Salud, Trabajo y Ambiente, 3rd Quarter 2009, Vol.16, No.61, p p.17-25. Illus. 44 ref.
Rajan P., Kelsey K.T., Schwartz J.D., Bellinger D.C., Weuve J., Spiro A., Sparrow D., Smith T.J., Nie H., Weisskopf M.G., Hu H., Wright R.O.
Interaction of the δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase polymorphism and lead burden on cognitive function: The VA normative ageing study
This study evaluated the modifying influence of a δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) gene polymorphism on the relation between lead burden and cognition among older men. Information on ALAD genotype, lead measurements, potential confounders and cognitive testing was collected from 982 veterans. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression models. With higher levels of tibia lead, ALAD 1-2/2-2 carriers exhibited worse performance on a spatial copying test in comparison with ALAD 1-1 carriers. However, there was no consistent pattern of an ALAD genotype-lead interaction for the other tests.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep 2008, Vol.50, No.9, p.1053-1061. 36 ref.
Tak S., Roscoe R.J., Alarcon W., Ju J., Sestito J.P., Sussell A.L., Calvert G.M.
Characteristics of US workers whose blood lead levels trigger the medical removal protection provision, and conformity with biological monitoring requirements, 2003-2005
In the United States, workers with blood lead levels (BLL) ≥60µg/dL are required to be removed from work involving lead exposure. This study estimated the proportion of workers with BLLs that triggered the medical removal provision by sector, and examined whether workers received appropriate follow-up blood lead testing. Data from the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance Program for 2003-2005 showed that of 13,724 adults with BLLs ≥25µg/dL, 533 had BLLs that triggered the lead exposure removal provision. Rate ratios (RR) of adults with BLLs triggering medical removal were highest for "painting and wall covering contractors" (RR 22.1) followed by "highway, street and bridge construction" (RR 14.7), "amusement, gambling, and recreation" (RR 11.4) and "glass product manufacturing" (RR 10.1). Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Sep. 2008, Vol.51, No.9, p.691-700. Illus. 22 ref.
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/119877947/PDFSTART [in English]
Ahmed K., Ayana G., Engidawork E.
Lead exposure study among workers in lead acid battery repair units of transport service enterprises, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study
The objective of this study was to assess the magnitude of lead exposure in battery repair workers of three transport service enterprises in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Subjective information from the workers was obtained by means of structured questionnaires. Urinary aminolevulinic acid levels were determined among workers exposed and not exposed to lead, matched by age. Urinary aminolevulinic acid levels were found to be significantly higher in exposed compared to the non-exposed group. From the questionnaire responses and workplace observations, it was also known that all the repair units did not implement effective preventive and control measures for workplace lead exposure. Taken together, these findings indicated that workers in lead acid battery repair units of the transport service enterprises are not protected from possibly high lead exposure.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Nov. 2008, Vol.3, No.30, 8p. Illus. 30 ref.
http://www.occup-med.com/content/pdf/1745-6673-3-30.pdf [in English]
Böckelmann I., Maier F., Pfister E.A.
Heart rate variability among firing range police instructors exposed to lead under standard conditions
Herzfrequenzvariabilität bei bleibelasteten Polizeischiessausbildern unter standardisierten Laborbedingungen [in German]
Within the context of a survey on occupational medicine, the issue of possible neurotoxic effects due to lead exposure among police force firing range instructors was raised. A test under standardized conditions was therefore carried out on 10 officers (8 men and 2 women) working in a firing range and 10 volunteer unexposed controls. It involved a 5min rest period followed by a stimulation phase (including mental and cognitive tasks), with a final 5min recovery phase. The pulse rate was recorded during the three phases. Subjects exposed to lead were found to have reduced heart rate variability (HRV), a finding that was confirmed by statistical analysis. This reduced HRV can be attributed to lead exposure.
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Nov. 2008, Vol.58, No.11, p.322-328. Illus. 42 ref.
Sun Y., Sun D., Zhou Z., Zhu G., Zhang H., Chang X., Lei L., Jin T.
Osteoporosis in a Chinese population due to occupational exposure to lead
The objective of this study was to investigate whether occupational lead exposure was associated with low bone mass in a population working in a storage battery plant. A total of 249 persons (191 men and 58 women) completed a questionnaire on various demographic, personal and job-related factors. Monophoton absorptiometry was used to measure bone mineral density (BMD). Urinary (UPb) and blood (BPb) lead concentrations were determined by graphite-furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The BMD was significantly decreased in the groups of the high UPb compared with the low UPb level in both genders. The prevalence of osteoporosis was significantly related to the increase of both UPb and BPb. There was a dose-response relationship between lead exposure and prevalence of osteoporosis. Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, June 2008, Vol.51, No.6, p.436-442. Illus. 28 ref.
Jones S.R., Atkin P., Holroyd C., Lutman E., Vives i Batlle J., Wakeford R., Walker P.
Lung cancer mortality at a UK tin smelter
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between lung cancer mortality and quantitative measures of exposure in a tin smelter. Using available records of occupational hygiene measurements, exposure matrices for arsenic, cadmium, lead, antimony and polonium-210, covering the main process areas of the smelter, were established as well as work histories from personnel record cards for the previously defined cohort of 1462 male employees. Three different methods of extrapolation were used to assess exposures prior to 1972 when no measurement results were available. Lung cancer mortality was examined in relation to cumulative inhalation exposure by Poisson regression analysis. No significant associations could be found between lung cancer mortality and simple cumulative exposure to any of the substances studied. When cumulative exposures were weighted according to time since exposure and attained age, significant associations were found between lung cancer mortality and exposures to arsenic, lead and antimony. Other findings are discussed.
Occupational Medicine, June 2007, Vol.57, No.4, p.238-245. Illus. 45 ref.
Szyman£ka-Chabowska A., Antonowicz-Juchniewicz J,, Andrzejak R.
The concentration of selected cancer markers (TPA, TPS, CYFRA 21-1, CEA) in workers occupationally exposed to arsenic (As) and some heavy metals (Pb, Cd) during a two-year observation study
Molecular epidemiology studies have lately been focused on occupational cancer associated with exposure to chemical carcinogens in the work environment. A two-year observation study was designed to investigate the relationship between arsenic, lead and cadmium concentrations and the levels of cancer markers: TPA (tissue polypeptide antigen), TPS (tissue polypeptide specific antigen), CYFRA 21-1 and CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) in 69 male workers occupationally exposed to As and Pb, and environmentally exposed to Cd via tobacco smoking. Significant correlations were found between CEA and blood Cd concentrations or between CEA and the duration of work under exposure. All the metals examined were found to have an influence on the concentration of cancer markers, except for CYFRA 21-1. Other findings are discussed.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 3rd quarter 2007, Vol.20, No.3, p.229-239. Illus. 30 ref.
Evaluation of preventive and control measures for lead exposure in a South African lead-acid battery recycling smelter
This cross-sectional study investigated the effectiveness of preventive and control measures implemented in a South-African lead smelter involved in the recycling of lead-acid batteries. Twenty-two workers were observed and interviewed. Structured questionnaires were used to gather workers' personal information, perception about their work environment, health risks and work practices. Retrospective data from air monitoring and medical surveillance programs were obtained from the plant's records. Although the plant had adopted several control measures, some areas had average lead-in-air levels above 0.15mg/m3, the occupational exposure limit for lead. Workers in the smelting area and battery breaking area had the highest blood lead levels. Personal protective equipment was not in regular use in lead exposure zones.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Oct. 2007, Vol.4, No.10, p.762-769. Illus. 8 ref.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Toxicological profile for lead (Update)
This profile has been prepared in accordance with guidelines set by the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the EPA. The key literature related to the toxic effects of lead is identified and reviewed. Contents: public health statement; health effects; chemical and physical information; production, import, use and disposal; potential for human exposure; analytical methods; regulations and advisories; glossary. Health hazards include: brain damage (neurotoxic effects, encephalopathy); renal damage; haematotoxic effects (anaemia); damage to the male reproductive system; retarded development of newborn children. IARC classifies organic lead compounds as possible human carcinogens (group 2B), while inorganic lead compounds are not classifiable with respect to their human carcinogenicity because of insufficient evidence. (Update of CIS 96-2227).
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Toxicology/Toxicology Information Branch, 1600 Clifton Road NE, E-29, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA, Aug. 2007. xx, 528p. Illus. Approx. 1700 ref. Index.
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp13.pdf [in English]
Stewart W.F., Schwartz B.S.
Effects of lead on the adult brain: A 15-year exploration
Three independent longitudinal studies were initiated to determine whether cumulative lead exposure was associated with persistent or progressive neurotoxic effects. The studies include former United States organolead manufacturing workers, current and former inorganic lead workers in Korea and Baltimore residents with environmental lead exposure. In each of these studies, blood lead was measured, as well as tibia and patella lead by X-ray fluorescence. Higher tibia lead was consistently associated with poorer measures of cognitive function. Longitudinal analysis of the Korean and organolead cohort indicate that the effect of lead is persistent. Moreover, MRI data on organolead workers indicates a possible progressive effect. Higher tibia lead was associated with lower brain volume. Findings suggest that a significant proportion of what is considered to be normal age-related cognitive decline may, in fact, be due to past exposure to neurotoxicants such as lead.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2007, Vol.50, p.729-739. Illus. 46 ref.
Blando J.D., Lefkowitz D.K., Valiante D., Gerwel B., Bresnitz E.
Survey of current lead use, handling, hygiene, and contaminant controls among New Jersey industries
In 2003, a chemical handling and use survey was mailed to New Jersey employers identified as using lead in their industrial processes. This survey was used to ascertain characteristics about lead use, handling and protection of employees during manufacturing operations. Forty-five surveys were returned by companies that are listed in the New Jersey Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) programme, which records and investigates cases of adults with greater than 25µg/dL of lead in their blood, most cases being related to occupational exposures. This survey found that more than 25% of the surveyed enterprises with significant potential for lead exposure did not employ commonly-used and basic industrial hygiene practices. In addition, 24% of these companies had not conducted air sampling within the last three years. Other findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Aug. 2007, Vol.4, No.8, p.539-546. 29 ref.
Taylor A., Angerer J., Arnaud J., Claeys F., Kristiansen J., Mazzarrasa O., Menditto A., Patriarca M., Pineau A., Valkonen S., Weykamp C.
Differences in national legislation for the implementation of lead regulations included in the European directive for the protection of the health and safety of workers with occupational exposure to chemical agents (98/24/EC)
La Directive 98/24 du Conseil concernant la protection de la santé et de la sécurité des travailleurs contre les risques liés à des agents chimiques sur le lieu de travail (voir CIS 98-1094) renferme des dispositions relatives à la surveillance biologique et environnementale, avec mention spécifique de valeurs seuils et de mesures de surveillance médicale ayant force obligatoire pour les personnes exposées au plomb. Le but de cette étude était de comparer la manière dont la Directive a été mise en ¿uvre au niveau national dans les Etats Membres et de déterminer dans quelle mesure les travailleurs bénéficient de mesures de protection comparables. Des informations sur des aspects clés choisis ont été recueillies dans 14 pays de l'UE au moyen d'un questionnaire structuré. Les résultats indiquent que la protection des travailleurs contre le risque d'exposition au plomb est loin d'être uniforme. De telles disparités peuvent également avoir des conséquences sur les exigences définies au niveau national pour les laboratoires pratiquant les mesures de plombémie ou de plomb dans l'air. Dans l'intérêt d'une harmonisation au sein de l'UE, on devrait prêter plus d'attention à l'Annexe II de la Directive 98/24 et prendre en compte les propositions concernant l'abaissement des valeurs limites ayant force obligatoire pour le plomb.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jan. 2007, Vol.80, No.3, p.254-264. 20 ref.
Pletscher C., Liechti B.
Lead and occupational hazards
Gesundheitliche Gefährdung am Arbeitsplatz durch Blei [in German]
Plomb et risques professionnels [in French]
This information note can be used as a training manual on the hazards of long-term exposure to low concentrations of lead. It is primarily aimed at occupational physicians. Main topics covered: sources of exposure; intake, distribution, elimination and toxic effects; health hazards; determination in air and exposure tests; medical supervision; technical and organizational measures; personal hygiene; legal aspects in Switzerland. Update of document abstracted under CIS 90-1855.
Suva, Caisse nationale suisse d'assurance en cas d'accidents, Case postale 6002, Lucerne, Switzerland, 6th ed., 2007. 35p. Illus. 39 ref.
Lead: An ever present hazard in the construction industry
Plomb: un risque toujours d'actualité dans le BTP [in French]
Many activities in the building sector may cause exposure to lead. This article discusses preventive measures, safety checks and simple hygiene rules that can ensure that the risk is managed. Contents: sources of lead (piping, paint); routes of entry (ingestion, inhalation of dust or smoke); checks to be made before and during the work; French regulations; lead poisoning; lead detectors; personal hygiene.
Prévention BTP, Jan. 2007, No.92, p.54-57. Illus.
Saito H., Mori I., Ogawa Y., Hirata M.
Relationship between blood lead level and work related factors using the NIIH questionnaire system
A study on the management and improvement of the work environment was conducted from 1990 to 2000 at 259 lead-handling factories in Japan. Data were obtained by means of questionnaires addressed to employers. Various factors affecting blood lead levels (PbBs), including gender, age, employment duration, factory size, work environment control and job categories were analyzed. The PbB of men was found to be higher than that of women, and may be due to the differences in job distribution. PbB increased along with increasing age and employment duration. PbB declined as the factory size increased. The odds ratio (OR) of PbB higher than 20µg/dL according to factory size was significantly high even after adjusting for work environment control class. This demonstrates that not only the working environment but also safety management was poorer among small-scale factories than among large-scale factories. Smelting or refining lead had the highest risk for lead exposure while painting had the lowest risk. Other findings are discussed.
Industrial Health, Oct. 2006, Vol.44, No.4, p.619-628. 30 ref.
http://www.jniosh.go.jp/old/niih/en/indu_hel/2006/pdf/indhealth_44_4_619.pdf [in English]
Di Lorenzo L., Silvestroni A., Martino M.G., Gagliardi T., Corfiati M., Soleo L.
Evaluation of peripheral blood neutrophil leucocytes in lead-exposed workers
The objective of this study was to verify whether occupational lead exposure induces changes in the number of blood neutrophil leucocytes, and to assess a possible dose-response relationship between blood lead (Pb-B) and the circulating neutrophil count in exposed workers. It involved 68 lead-exposed male workers and 59 unexposed male controls. A standardized questionnaire on occupational and non-occupational factors was administered to all the subjects. Blood and urine samples were collected and analysed. Compared to controls, exposed workers had significantly higher Pb-B and mean absolute neutrophil count (ANC). ANC correlated significantly with the biological lead dose and effect indices. Moreover, there was a dose-dependent increase of ANC with increasing Pb-B levels. There was also an interaction between Pb-B level and smoking habit in increasing the number of blood neutrophils among lead-exposed workers.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, June 2006, Vol.79, No.6, p.491-498. 44 ref.
Filon F.L., Boeniger M., Maina G., Adami G., Spinelli P., Damian A.
Skin absorption of inorganic lead (PbO) and the effect of skin cleansers
The aim of this study was to investigate the percutaneous penetration of lead oxide (PbO) powder and the effect of two different detergents on the speed of skin decontamination. Franz cells were used to study in vitro PbO skin penetration during a 24h period. The tests were performed without or with decontamination using either a common brand of liquid soap or a new experimental cleanser 30 minutes after the start of exposure. It was confirmed that PbO can pass through the skin with a median penetration of 2.9ng/cm2. The cleaning procedure using the liquid soap significantly increased skin penetration with a median value of 23.6ng/cm2, whereas the new experimental cleanser only marginally increased penetration (7.1ng/cm2). The results indicate that it is necessary to prevent skin contamination from occurring in the first place because a short contact can increase skin penetration even if quickly followed by washing.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2006, Vol.48, No.7, p.692-699. Illus. 40 ref.
Potula V., Kleinbaum D., Kaye W.
Lead exposure and spine bone mineral density
The purpose of this study was to assess changes in spine bone mineral density (BMD) over time in relation to changes in bone and blood lead levels and other risk factors among female former smelter workers. Spine BMD was measured using an X-ray bone densitometer and tibia bone lead content was estimated using an X-ray fluorescence system. Blood lead levels were analyzed using graphite furnace atomic absorption with Zeeman effect background correction. Information about risk factors was obtained through a questionnaire. After controlling for baseline BMD, baseline blood lead measured in 1994 and time since menopause, spine bone density in 2000 decreased with increasing blood lead levels in 2000 in all women, especially if they worked in technical jobs most of the time at the plant.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2006, Vol.48, No.6, p.556-564. 58 ref.
World Health Organization (WHO)
IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans - Inorganic and organic lead compounds
This volume of the IARC Monographs contains evaluations of inorganic and organic lead compounds. Contents: exposure data (production processes for lead and lead products, uses, environmental occurrence, exposure of the general population and of workers in specific occupations, methods of sampling and analysis in biological matter, exposure limits); studies of cancer in humans and experimental animals; studies of other toxic effects (effects on haeme-containing systems, nephrotoxicity, neurological and neurotoxic effects, cardiovascular toxicity, immunological, reproductive and genetic effects). Overall evaluation: inorganic lead compounds are probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A), organic lead compounds are not classifiable as to their carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).
WHO Press, World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland; International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon Cedex 08, France, 2006. xiii, 506p. Approx. 1600 ref.
Kim K.R., Lee S.W., Paik N.W.
Cross-sectional analysis of blood lead level of entire Korean lead workers
This study analysed blood lead (PbB) levels from the 2003 health surveillance results of 13,043 lead workers from 1217 lead industries to evaluate the importance of low level lead intoxication in Korea. The geometric mean PbB was 6.08µg/dl. 56.6% and 7.9% of total lead workers had PbB level over than 5µg/dl and 25µg/dl, respectively. Male workers showed relatively higher PbB levels compared to women, but in the electronics industries, more women than men were at risk of low level lead exposure. While conventional industries such as battery manufacturing and metallurgy remained in the high-risk group for lead exposure, there were high risks in other industries such as plastics, chemicals and parts manufacturing. Non-production tasks such as fork-lift truck driving, maintenance, laboratory testing and various supporting functions also showed risks of high blood lead levels.
Industrial Health, Apr. 2006, Vol.44, No.2, p.318-327. Illus. 24 ref.
http://www.jniosh.go.jp/old/niih/en/indu_hel/2006/pdf/indhealth_44_2_318.pdf [in English]
Fenga C., Cacciola A., Martino L.B., Calderaro S.R., Di Nola C., Verzera A., Trimarchi G., Germanò D.
Relationship of blood lead levels to blood pressure in exhaust battery storage workers
This study examined the relationship between occupational lead exposure and elevated blood pressure among a group of 27 workers of a lead battery plant in Italy aged between 27 to 62 years. Measurements were taken of blood lead concentration, blood biomarkers of lead exposure, body mass index and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The results showed that long-term occupational exposure was related to a slight increase of systolic and diastolic blood pressure among workers who had been exposed to higher levels of lead compared to those exposed to lower levels. Furthermore, blood lead concentration was higher among workers exposed to higher levels of ambient lead, while in the same group of workers ALAD (aminolevulinic acid dehydratase) activity was reduced. It is concluded that long term cumulative lead exposure can significantly increase blood pressure in workers exposed to low levels of lead.
Industrial Health, Apr. 2006, Vol.44, No.2, p.304-309. 18 ref.
http://www.jniosh.go.jp/old/niih/en/indu_hel/2006/pdf/indhealth_44_2_304.pdf [in English]
Chen P.C., Pan I.J., Wang J.D.
Parental exposure to lead and small for gestational age births
This study was conducted to assess whether parental lead exposure was related to risks of low birth weight, preterm delivery and small for gestational age births. The cohort comprised lead-exposed workers listed in an occupational blood-lead notification database in Taiwan. Data on the birth outcomes of their offspring were obtained from the Taiwan birth registration database between 1993 and 1997. Only singleton births whose parental blood-lead concentrations were tested during pregnancy or within a one-year span before conception were included. Findings provide additional evidence of the effects of lead on adverse birth outcomes, especially for small for gestational age births. Maternal exposure to lead plays a more important role in the adverse effect on birth outcome than paternal exposure.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2006, Vol.49, p.417-422. 38 ref.
Lundström N.G., Englyst V., Gerhardsson L., Jin T., Nordberg G.
Lung cancer development in primary smelter workers: A nested case-referent study
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of work-related exposure to arsenic and lead versus smoking among lead smelter workers who had developed lung cancer. In a cohort of 3979 lead smelter workers, 46 male subjects had contracted respiratory malignancies. They were compared with 141 age-matched male referents by conditional logistic regression analysis. Cases showed a fourfold higher smoking rate compared with referents. When restricted to smokers, the cumulative air arsenic exposure index, but not the lead exposure indices, was also significantly higher among the cases. It is concluded that cumulative arsenic exposure and smoking were the main risk factors for the development of lung cancer, but not lead exposure.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2006, Vol.48, No.4, p.376-380. 30 ref.
Kuo H.W., Lai L.H., Chou S.Y., Wu F.Y.
Association between blood lead level and blood pressure in aborigines and others in central Taiwan
To investigate the relationship between blood lead level (BLL) and blood pressure among aborigines and non-aborigines in central Taiwan, a community-based survey that included demographic data, medical history and blood chemistry analyses was conducted among 2,565 adults during an annual health examination. BLLs were analysed using a graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS). There was a dose response among the non-aborigines (high BLL odds ratio = 2.97, compared with low BLL) but not among aborigines. Based on multiple linear regression models, BLLs were positively correlated with both systolic (an increase of 0.85 mm Hg/µg/dL) and diastolic (an increase of 0.48 mm Hg/µg/dL) blood pressures after adjusting for age, gender, ethnic group, alcohol consumption, and body mass index. BLLs were higher among aborigines than non-aborigines and were significantly correlated with blood pressure, particularly systolic pressure. The association should be considered causal. [Abstract supplied by the journal]
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, July-Sep. 2006, Vol.12, No.3, p.222-227. Illus. 23 ref.
http://www.ijoeh.com/pfds/IJOEH_1203_Kuo.pdf [in English]
Mason H., Gallagher F., Sen D.
Window renovation and exposure to lead - An observational study
Renovation of windows in old houses can give rise to lead exposure. In this study, blood lead levels were compared among three cohorts: window renovation workers, all male workers monitored by the UK Health and Safety Laboratory during 1999-2001 and 63 male subjects involved in chemical paint stripping of wood. Both the window renovation and the wood stripping cohorts showed significantly higher blood lead than the "all workers" cohort. A similar pattern was also found for comparison of the prevalence of subjects above the UK suspension level of 60µg/dL under the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002.
Occupational Medicine, Dec. 2005, Vol.55, No.8, p.631-634. Illus. 14 ref.
Chia S.E., Zhou H.J., Yap E., Tham M.T., Dong N.V., Hong Tu N.T., Chia K.S.
Association of renal function and δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase polymorphism among Vietnamese and Singapore workers exposed to inorganic lead
The effect of δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) polymorphisms on the association between blood lead and renal function was investigated among Vietnamese and Singaporean workers exposed to low to medium levels of inorganic lead. The distribution of ALAD polymorphism among Vietnamese, Chinese, Malays and Indians was also studied. Blood and urine samples were analysed for blood lead, ALAD genotype, urinary δ-aminolevulinic acid and renal function. ALAD1-1 was the predominant genotype for all ethnic groups while ALAD2-2 was the rarest. Results indicated that workers with the ALAD2 allele appeared to be more susceptible to the effects of lead (especially at higher levels) on renal function.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2006, Vol. 63, p.180-186. Illus. 23 ref.
Chia S.E., Zhou H., Tham M.T., Yap E., Dong N.V., Hong Tu N.T., Chia K.S.
Possible influence of δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase polymorphism and susceptibility to renal toxicity of lead: A study of a Vietnamese population
In a cross-sectional study of 276 lead-exposed workers in Vietnam, all workers were measured for blood lead levels and for various urinary markers of renal toxicity. Six newly identified polymorphisms located on the ALAD (δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase) gene were examined to determine whether they could modify the relationship between blood lead and some renal parameters. It was found that one polymorphism was able to modify the association of blood lead concentrations with certain renal parameters. Further studies are needed to confirm this observation.
Environmental Health Perspectives, Oct. 2005, Vol.113, No.10, p.1313-1317. Illus. 33 ref.
Karakaya A.E., Ozcagli E., Ertas N., Sardas S.
Assessment of abnormal DNA repair responses and genotoxic effects in lead exposed workers
Genotoxic effects of lead were studied in blood cell samples from 23 workers of battery manufacturing plants and 23 unexposed controls. Tests included chromosomal aberration (CA) assay and X-ray induced challenge (XRC) assay to assess DNA damage and interference with DNA repair processes after an in vitro exposure of X-ray. Cases were classified into categories according to their blood lead levels. The CA frequencies in the exposed and control groups were not significantly different by the conventional CA assay, however, the XRC assay demonstrated significantly elevated CAs. Non-significant but reduced DNA repair responses were also observed in lead exposed workers. The results suggest that lead exposure may cause reduction in DNA repair capacity.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Apr. 2005, Vol.47, No.4, p.358-363. Illus. 23 ref.
Kasperczyk S., Przywara-Chowaniec B., Kasperczyk A., Rykaczewska-Czerwińska M., Wodniecki J., Birkner E., Dziwisz M., Krauze-Wielicka M.
Function of heart muscle in people chronically exposed to lead
The effects of lead exposure on heart function were investigated in workers potentially exposed to lead at a steelworks in the south of Poland. Blood lead concentrations were measured and echocardiograms were performed in 88 exposed workers and in a non-exposed reference group. Results indicated a decrease in the left ventricular ejection fraction, enlargement of the left ventricle and raised left ventricular mass in exposed workers. These effects may be the result of raised arterial blood tension.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2005, Vol.12, No.2, p.207-210. 28 ref.
http://www.aaem.pl/pdf/12207.pdf [in English]
Esswein E., Boeniger M.F.
Preventing the toxic hand-off
This article stresses the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of toxic substances by contaminated skin. Topics addressed: industrial hygiene regulations; lead contamination on the hands of workers involved in the processing of lead-containing materials; prevention of hand-to-mouth lead transfer; effective decontamination methods.
Occupational Hazards, Sep. 2005, Vol.67, No.9, p.53-61. Illus. 9 ref.
Chen S.S., Chen T.J., Lin C.H., Tseng Y.T., Lai S.L.
Neurobehavioral changes in Taiwanese lead-exposed workers
Dysfunction of the central nervous system (CNS) was evaluated among male workers who had been exposed to lead for at least three years and who had elevated blood lead levels (BLLs). According to their current BLLs, 33 and 28 subjects were assigned to the medium (40-80µg/dL) and low (<40µg/dL) BLL groups, respectively. Sixty-two non-exposed healthy men served as the control group. A computerized evaluation system found significantly impaired neurobehavioral functions in the medium BLL group, including slow performance of psychomotor tasks, impaired processing of visual-spatial information, reduced memory and learning functions, low performance accuracy, slow execution of responses, and poor attentional control. Subtle CNS dysfunction is therefore possible among lead-exposed workers having no obvious neurological and cognitive deficits.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2005, Vol.47, No.9, p.902-908. 53 ref.
Schütz A, Olsson M., Jensen A., Gerhardsson L., Börjesson J., Mattsson S., Skerfving S.
Lead in finger bone, whole blood, plasma and urine in lead-smelter workers: Extended exposure range
The objective of this study was to assess historical exposure to lead and to study the relationships between lead concentrations in whole blood (B-Pb), plasma (P-Pb), urine (U-Pb), finger bone (Bone-Pb) and duration of employment in workers at a secondary lead smelter and to compare the findings with those of studies of populations with a wide range of lead exposure. The study population included 39 workers at a German secondary lead smelter. The results were compared with data from previous studies of Swedish, Russian and Ecuadorian lead-exposed subjects. The high Bone-Pb values recorded for the German workers implied a historical lead exposure of considerable magnitude. The long-term high lead exposure also showed up in the B-Pb levels for both active and retired workers, leading to the implementation of safety measures in order to comply with biological threshold limits.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Feb. 2005, Vol.78, No.1, p.35-43. Illus. 28 ref.
Bilińska M., Antonowicz-Juchniewicz J., Koszewicz M., Kaczmarek-Wdowiak B., Kreczyńska B.
Distribution of conduction velocity in the ulnar nerve among lead exposed workers
Rozkład prędkości przewodzenia we włóknach nerwu lokciowego u osób zawodowo narażonych na działanie ołowiu [in Polish]
Clinical and neurophysiological assessments of the peripheral nervous system were carried out in 34 lead-exposed workers and 20 healthy controls. None of the workers showed clinical signs of neuropathy or abnormalities in routine neurographic examination. Compared with controls, a significantly lowered conduction in slow-conducting motor fibres and neurogenic changes in EMG were observed in workers with a blood lead concentration over 400 µg/1 and in workers with free erythrocyte protoporphyrin levels over 70 µg/100 ml. It is concluded that the neurotoxic effect of lead on peripheral nerves is manifested by the damage of slow-conducting motor nerve fibres when overt neuropathy is not yet visible.
Medycyna pracy, 2005, Vol.56, No.2, p.139-146. 22 ref.
Toxicity of lead and its derivatives
Toxicité du plomb et de ses dérivés [in French]
Lead is among the most ancient and widely-used metals. Occupational exposures remain important. The release of scales or dusts during the painting of old and poorly-maintained wallcovering is the cause of frequent cases of lead poisoning among children in many countries, including France. In regions where the mineral content of drinking water is low, it can absorb various metals, including lead. This article describes cases of poisoning by inorganic and organic lead compounds. Topics covered: sources and means of exposure; toxicokinetics of lead; acute and chronic toxic effects, including carcinogenicity and reproductive health effects; procedures for screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of childhood lead poisoning; principles of medical supervision for workers exposed to lead; treatment and compensation of work-related poisonings.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 2nd Quarter 2005, No.147, 15p. Illus. 95 ref.
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