Lead Toxicity in a Family as a Result of Occupational Exposure

Open access

Lead Toxicity in a Family as a Result of Occupational Exposure

This article describes an entire family manufacturing lead acid batteries who all suffered from lead poisoning. The family of five lived in a house, part of which had been used for various stages of battery production for 14 years. Open space was used for drying batteries. They all drank water from a well located on the premises. Evaluation of biomarkers of lead exposure and/or effect revealed alarming blood lead levels [(3.92±0.94) μmol L-1], 50 % reduction in the activity of δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase [(24.67±5.12) U L-1] and an increase in zinc protoporphyrin [(1228±480) μg L-1]. Liver function tests showed an increase in serum alkaline phosphatase [(170.41±41.82) U L-1]. All other liver function test parameters were normal. Renal function tests showed an increase in serum uric acid [(515.81±86.29) μmol L-1] while urea and creatinine were normal. Serum calcium was low [(1.90±0.42) mmol L-1 in women and (2.09±0.12) mmol L-1 in men], while blood pressure was high in the head of the family and his wife and normal in children. Lead concentration in well water was estimated to 180 μg L-1. The family was referred to the National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India, were they were received treatment and were informed about the hazards of lead poisoning. A follow up three months later showed a slight decrease in blood lead levels and a significant increase in haemoglobin. These findings can be attributed to behavioural changes adopted by the family, even though they continued producing lead batteries.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • World Health Organization (WHO). Inorganic lead. Geneva: World Health Organization; Environ Health Criteria 165; 1995.

  • Lewis J. Lead poisoning: A Historical Perspective. EPA Journal - May 1985. http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/perspect/lead.htm

  • Hernberg S. Lead Poisoning in a Historical Perspective. Am J Ind Med 2000;38244-54.

  • Clark CS Rampal KG Thuppil V Chen CK Clark R Roda S. The lead content of currently available new residential paint in several Asian countries. Environ Res 2005;102:9-12.

  • Clark CS Thuppil V Clark R Sinha S Menezes G et al. Lead in Paint and Soil in Karnataka and Gujarat India. J Occ Environ Hyg 2005;2: 38-44.

  • Goyer RA. Lead toxicity: Current concerns. Environ Health Perspect 1993;100:177-87.

  • Rabinowitz MB Wetherill GW Kopple JD. Kinetic analysis of lead metabolism in healthy humans. J Clin Invest 1976;58:260-70.

  • Papanikolaou NC Hatzidaki EG Belivanis S Tzanakakis GN Tsatsakis AM. Lead toxicity update. A brief review. Med Sci Monit 2005;11:RA329-36.

  • Goldfrank LR Flomenbaum NE Lewin NA Weisman RS Howland MA Hoffman RS. Goldfrank's Toxicologic Emergencies. 6th edition. Appleton & Lange: Stanford (CT);1998;1227-309.

  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for lead. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service; 2005.

  • Gittleman JL Engelgau MM Shaw J Wille KK Seligman PJ. Lead poisoning among battery reclamation workers in Albama. J Occup Med 1994;36:526-532.

  • DžSouza HS Menezes G Venkatesh T. Fetal Lead Exposure: Encephalopathy in a Child. Indian J Clin Biochem 2002;17:9-11.

  • Flora SJS. Background of Lead sources in India. Proceedings of the International Conference on Lead Poisoning Prevention and Treatment; February 8-10. 1999.; Bangalore India. 224-226.

  • Thuppil Venkatesh. The effects of environmental lead on human health: a challenging Scenario. Environ Health Focus 2004;2(1):8-16.

  • Staudinger KC Roth VS. Occupational lead poisoning. Am Fam Physician 1998;57:719-26.

  • Gidlow DA. Lead toxicity in depth review. Occup Med 2004;54:76-81.

  • Jagner D Graneli A. Potentiometric stripping analysis. Anal Chim Acta 1976;83:19-26.

  • Drabkins DL Austin JM. Spectrophotometric constants for common hemoglobin derivatives in human dog and rabbit blood. J Biol Chem 1932;98:719-23.

  • Berlin A Schaller KH. European standardized method for the determination of δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity. Klin Chem Klin Biochem 1974;12:389-90.

  • Blumberg WE Eisinger J Lamola AA and Zukerman DM. The Hematofluorometer. Clin Chem 1977;23:270-4.

  • Chen JianRong Xiao Shanmei Wu XiaoHua Fang KeMing Liu WenHan. Determination of lead in water samples by graphite furnase atomic absorption spectrometry after cloud point extraction. Talanta 2005;67:992-6.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employee standard summary - 1910.1025 App B. [displayed 6th January 2008]. Available at http://www.osha.gainfotech.edu/lead/lead-appB.pdf

  • de Siqueira MEPB Maia PP de Oliveira DP and Luengo DML. Delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity in the general population of Southern Minas Gerais Brazil. Ind Health 2003;41:19-23.

  • Norbert WTietz. editor. Clinical guide to laboratory tests. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company; 1995.

  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Toxicological profile for lead. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service; 2005.

  • Graziano JH Slavkovic V Factor-Litvak P Popovac D Ahmedi X Mehmeti A. Depressed serum erythropoietin in pregnant women with elevated blood lead. Arch Environ Health 1991;46:347-50.

  • Paglia DE Valentine WN Dahlgner JG. Effects of low level lead exposure on pyrimidine-5' nucleotidase and other erythrocyte enzymes. J Clin Invest 1976;56:1164-9.

  • Piomelli S. Childhood lead poisoning. Pediatr Clin North Am 2002;49:1285-304.

  • Piomelli S Wolff JA. Childhood lead poisoning in the '90s. Pediatrics 1994;93:508-10.

  • Marcus AH Schwartz J. Dose-response curves for erythrocyte Protoporphyrin vs. blood lead: effects of iron status. Environ Res 1987;44:221-7.

  • Schwartz J. Lead blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in men. Arch Environ Health 1995;50:31-7.

  • Korrick SA Hunter DJ Rotnizky A et al. Lead and hypertension in a sample of middle aged women. Am J Public Health 1999;89:330-5.

  • Simons TJB. Cellular interactions between lead and calcium. Br Med Bull 1986;42:431-4.

  • Bennet WM. Lead nephropathy. Kidney Int 1985;28:212-20.

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.436
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.606

CiteScore 2018: 1.53

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.358
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.608

Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 152 65 5
PDF Downloads 77 43 2