Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Assessment of renal dysfunction in workers previously exposed to mercury vapour at a chloralkali plant.
  1. D G Ellingsen,
  2. L Barregård,
  3. P I Gaarder,
  4. B Hultberg,
  5. H Kjuus
  1. Department of Occupational Medicine, Telemark Central Hospital, Porsgrunn, Norway.


    Urinary albumin concentration (U-alb) and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (U-NAG) and glomerular basement membrane antibodies (a-GBMs) in serum samples were measured in 77 chloralkali workers previously exposed to mercury (Hg) vapour and 53 age matched referents. The exposure ceased on average 12.3 (range 1-35) years before the study. The mean exposure time was 7.9 (range 1.1-36.2) years. The mean yearly urinary Hg concentration (U-Hg) was 531 nmol/l. The concentrations of the urinary isoenzymes NAG A (U-NAG A) and NAG B (U-NAG B) were determined in 30 highly exposed subjects and 30 referents. No differences in U-alb or U-NAG, U-NAG A, or U-NAG B were found between the groups. Higher concentrations of a-GBMs were found among subjects who stopped exposure a short time before the study, but there was no association between a-GBMs and U-alb. The U-NAG and U-NAG A were negatively correlated with storage time. The results may suggest that microalbuminuria and enzymuria reported in subjects with ongoing exposure to Hg vapour are reversible in most instances.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.