The effects of lead, iron, copper, and zinc ions on delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase from red blood cell haemolysates in humans, both in the absence and presence of plasma proteins, have been investigated. delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) was not found to be a specific indicator of blood lead concentrations since it was also inhibited by copper and activated by zinc. Plasma protein protected the enzyme from both inhibition and activation. ALAD activity was found to be an indicator of the total metal ion concentration in the blood and was therefore considered to be of doubtful value in screening large populations for increased lead absorption.
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