Free erythrocyte protoporphyrin as an indicator of the biological effect of lead in adult males - I. Relationship between free erythrocyte protoporphyrin and indicators of internal dose of lead

L. Alessio, P. A. Bertazzi, F. Toffoletto, V. Foà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The relationship between FEP and the indicators of an internal dose of lead (PbB, PbU, PbU-EDTA) was considered in a group of adult male subjects with varying lead exposure, whose PbB values ranged from 15 - 150 μg/100 ml; a highly significant correlation was found between FEP and PbB, PbU, and PbU-EDTA (r = 0.904; r = 0.889; r = 0.894, respectively). The regression curves representing the relationship between the erythrocyte metabolite and the indicators of internal dose are uniform and are of nonlinear (logistic) type. In the first stage, within the range of normal values (up to 46 μg/100 ml RBC), FEP increases moderately with the rise of internal dose; subsequently it increases exponentially and tends finally to an asymptotic value in the range 250 - 300 μg/100 ml RBC. The data obtained in our investigation suggest that FEP is a useful test to assess metabolic damage in adult subjects arising from an "abnormal" lead absorption and to evaluate the amount of "active deposit" of the metal present in the body. Validity analysis showed that the erythrocyte metabolite can reliably be used as a screening test for monitoring occupationally exposed subjects and can also be applied in general population studies, since FEP has a good validity in the PbB range of 40 - 70 μg/100 and in the PbU-EDTA range of 500 - 2000 μg/24 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-88
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1976

Keywords

  • Chelatable lead
  • Correlation
  • Lead
  • Lead in blood
  • Lead in urine
  • Nonlinear regression
  • Protoporphyrin in erythrocytes
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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