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RMU

Uruguayan Medical Journal

ISSN: 1688-0390


Vol.22 - Nº 4 - Dic. 2006

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Epidemiologic study of population exposed to lead

LABORDE A; DE BEN S; TOMASINA F; GONZÁLEZ-SAN MARTÍN R; TORTORELLA MN; SPONTON F
Rev Med Urug 2006; 22: 287-292
Full text (spanish) |  Full text (spanish) (New windows, pdf) | Abstract

Abstract

Since Antiquity workers have been exposed and contaminated by lead. The Uruguayan circumstances define it as a re-emergent situation from an epidemiologic point of view.

A descriptive study of workers of a battery storage cells factory took place during 2003. Serum lead levels obtained during labour activity was higher that the admitted maximal value for exposed workers ?30 μg/dl?, according to the Decree 337 - Ministry of Public Health. Mean values for serum lead after suspension was 29,4 μg/dl.

The descending percent of serum lead during one year exposure-free may be considered as an indirect indicator of body lead charge. Serum lead values do not correlate with clinical symptoms and signs, nor biochemical or hematological alterations expected in lead intoxication.

These results confirm that serum lead quantification is an indicator of exposure while workers are exposed, and its relative value as diagnostic criterion of intoxication.