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The effect of exposure to aluminium on concentrations of essential metals in serum of foundry workers.
  1. H B Röllin,
  2. P Theodorou,
  3. T A Kilroe-Smith
  1. National Centre for Occupational Health, Johannesburg, South Africa.


    The concentrations of aluminium (Al) in serum and urine of 33 volunteers exposed to inhalation of Al2O3 dust at a concentration in the air of less than 1 mg Al/m3 were measured. These were compared with results from 20 normal subjects not exposed. The concentrations of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and total iron (Fe) in serum were also measured. The Al concentration in serum was significantly raised in the subjects exposed to dust, but Al concentrations in urine showed no significant difference from controls. This suggests a possible change in distribution of metals in the body tissues due to the presence of Al, with incomplete excretion of Al in the urine. This redistribution was selective, as the serum concentrations of Cu were conclusively decreased whereas the serum concentrations of Zn were conclusively increased. The serum concentration of Fe did not change significantly.

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