Evaluation of δ-aminolaevulinic acid in blood of workers exposed to lead

T. Takebayashi, K. Omae, K. Hosoda, T. Satoh, T. Hamaguchi, H. Sakurai

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Exposure-effect and exposure-response relation between exposure to lead and δ-aminolaevulinic acid concentration in blood (ALA-B) were examined in 238 male workers exposed to lead. Concentrations of ALA-B ranged from 26 to 352 μg/l and lead concentrations in blood (Pb-B) from 7.1 to 86.0 μg/dl. Concentrations of ALA-B correlated closely with concentrations of Pb-B (r = 0.74), and increased ALA-B concentration occurred at Pb-B concentrations of around 30 μg/dl. Exposure-response curves indicated that the 50 percentile response doses were roughly 30, 40, and 50 μg/dl Pb-B when cut off points of ALA-B were set at 50, 60, and 70 μg/l respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of measurements of ALA-B concentrations for health screening were sufficiently high when the health based exposure limits of lead were set at 30-50 μg/dl. Moreover, a pronounced increase in ALA-B concentrations occurred when the inhibition rate of erythrocyte ALA dehydratase exceeded 85%. These findings suggest that ALA-B is a useful indicator for assessing the early effects of exposure to lead on haem biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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