Evaluation of lead exposure in battery-manufacturing workers with focus on different biomarkers

Vilena Kašuba, Ružica Rozgaj, Mirta Milić, Davor Želježić, Nevenka Kopjar, Alica Pizent, Zorana Kljaković-Gašpić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The influence of exposure to lead on the frequency of micronuclei (MN), nuclear buds and nucleoplasmatic bridges was investigated in peripheral blood lymphocytes in 15 male battery-manufacturing workers and 15 controls matched for age and smoking habits. In addition to MN test, blood lead (B-Pb) and cadmium (B-Cd), delta aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) activity, erythrocyte protoporphyrin (EP), serum vitamin B12 (S-Vit B12) and folate (S-folate) were determined in all subjects. Lead-exposed subjects had significantly higher MN frequency and B-Pb concentrations than controls. In control smokers we found a significant negative correlation between B-Pb concentration and frequency of nucleoplasmatic bridges, and nuclear division index. In control non-smokers a significant positive correlation was observed only between age and nuclear buds frequency, and between S-folate and B-Pb level. In lead exposed smokers, significant positive correlations between MN frequency and S-Vit B12, S-folate, and nuclear buds frequency were found. A positive correlation in exposed smokers was also found between nuclear buds frequency and S-Vit B12 concentration. A negative correlation was found between ALAD and EP, and B-Pb in exposed smokers. Exposed non-smokers showed significant negative correlation between MN frequency and B-Cd, and ALAD and EP. The results indicate a genotoxicity of lead, pointing to a micronucleus assay as a relevant test for assessing genotoxic effects resulting from occupational exposure. The other indicators did not necessarily follow the results of THE MN test. Influence of smoking should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Toxicology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2010



  • Battery workers
  • Blood lead and cadmium level
  • Delta aminolevulinic acid dehydratase
  • Erythrocyte protoporphyrin
  • Micronuclei
  • Serum folate
  • Serum vitamin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

Cite this

Kašuba, V., Rozgaj, R., Milić, M., Želježić, D., Kopjar, N., Pizent, A., & Kljaković-Gašpić, Z. (2010). Evaluation of lead exposure in battery-manufacturing workers with focus on different biomarkers. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 30(4), 321-328. https://doi.org/10.1002/jat.1497