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Temporal and interindividual variation in erythrocyte zinc-protoporphyrin in lead exposed workers.
  1. P Grandjean,
  2. P J Jørgensen,
  3. S Viskum
  1. Department of Environmental Medicine, Odense University, Odense, Denmark.


    Nineteen male workers from a factory making lead batteries participated in monthly blood tests to follow the effects of decreasing exposures to lead. The overall average blood lead (B Pb) concentration was 1.95 mumol/l (40 micrograms/100 ml), but a significant decrease was seen over the one year study period. The relation to erythrocyte zinc-protoporphyrin (ZPP) concentration showed considerable scatter and only marginal improvement of the relation was obtained when each ZPP result was compared with the average B Pb concentration during the previous four months. On an individual basis, five men showed a considerable decline in ZPP following decreases in B Pb concentration. In five other subjects with similar decreases in B Pb, no change in ZPP concentration was seen. These two groups were similar with regard to haemoglobin concentration, initial B Pb concentration, and age, but differed in duration of exposure. A longer exposure time and presumably, therefore, larger body burdens of lead seemed to prevent the expected decrease in erythrocyte ZPP.

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