In a population of workers (81 subjects) exposed to inorganic mercury vapors in a chlorine alkali plant (airborne mercury concentration between 0.06 and 0.3 mg/m3) and in a group (104 subjects) of people never exposed to mercury the plasma level of β-galactosidase, β-glucuronidase, β-N-acetylglucosaminidase, and β-glucosidase was determined. The results are as follows: 1. The plasma level of the four acid lysosomal hydrolases are higher in the group of workers exposed to mercury than in the control group. The difference is significant at the P <0.001 level for all studied enzymatic activities. 2. There is a significant correlation between the increase of the plasma levels of these enzymatic activities and the degree of exposure. These results suggest the use of this procedure for detecting an undue mercury absorption in workers exposed to the metal before any clinical signs. RBC and plasma cholinesterase activities were not affected. The results of the study of urinary proteins were not useful for detecting an early impairment of the kidney function. However, in some cases we observed a marked glomerular proteinuria without any clinical explanation: this fact makes one very cautious about denying the existence of a kidney impairment in workers exposed to the metal before any clinical sign is present.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1976|
- Lysosomal enzymes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis