Effect of lead exposure on biochemical parameters in automobile workers from Bijapur, Karnataka

In humans, lead can cause a wide range of biological effects depending upon the level and duration of exposure. The heavy metal lead (Pb) is one of the most widely scattered toxic metals in the world and has been used by mankind for over 9000 years. Lead in the environment may be derived from natural or anthropogenic sources. In this study, the authors investigated the adverse effect of exposure to lead on systolic and diastolic blood pressure, serum calcium, ionised calcium, phosphorus and kidney functions, of automobile workers. Two groups of thirty automobile workers and thirty age matched healthy control subjects from Bijapur city were recruited for this study. Demography, occupational and clinical data was collected using questionnaire. From these two groups, venous blood samples in EDTA and Plain bulbs and random midstream urine samples were collected in amber coloured bottles. The biochemical parameters were estimated using standard assay procedures. Statistical analysis of the data was done using independent student’s ‘t’ test for parametric variables. Values were expressed as mean (standard deviation (SD). P values of 0.05 or less were considered to be statistically significant. As compared to controls, the automobile workers were found to have significantly increased (P<0.001) blood and urinary lead levels, significantly increased (P<0.05) systolic and diastolic blood pressure and high (P<0.05) levels of blood urea, serum uric acid and serum creatinine levels and the levels of serum calcium, ionised calcium, phosphorus were significantly reduced (P<0.001). The chromatography of the urine samples shows the generalised aminoaciduria in these workers. The authors concluded that the findings from this study clearly indicate that the absorption of lead is greater in these workers. This adversely affects blood pressure, disturbs calcium and phosphorus metabolism and damages renal tubules. Since absorption of lead has ill effects on the health of automobile workers, there is an urgent need to safeguard them from the hazards of occupational lead exposure.

Authors: Dongre, Nilima; Suryakar, Adinath; Patil, Arun; Devarnavadagi, Basavaraj; Ambekar, Jeevan; Rathi, Dileep ;Full Source: International Journal of Current Research and Review 2012, 4(24), 105-112 (English) ;