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A neurobehavioural study of long-term occupational inorganic lead exposure

Österberg, Kai LU ; Börjesson, Jimmy; Gerhardsson, Lars LU ; Schütz, Andrejs LU and Skerfving, Staffan LU (1997) In Science of the Total Environment 201(1). p.39-51
Abstract

A group of 38 male workers at a secondary smelter (period of employment 2-35 years; median 10 years) was divided into two subgroups depending on bone-lead concentration, arranged as 19 matched pairs according to age, education and job level. The median concentrations for finger-bone lead (Bone-Pb) were 16 vs. 32 μg/g; for current blood-lead (B-Pb), 1.6 vs. 1.8 μmol/l; for retrospective peak blood-lead (Peak-Pb), 2.7 vs. 3.0 μmol/l; and for a retrospective cumulative blood lead index (CBLI), 143 vs. 233 μmol/l x months. Nineteen unexposed male workers from a nearby mechanical plant served as controls, using the same matching algorithm. The triplets were examined with a standardised neuropsychological test battery, and four questionnaires... (More)

A group of 38 male workers at a secondary smelter (period of employment 2-35 years; median 10 years) was divided into two subgroups depending on bone-lead concentration, arranged as 19 matched pairs according to age, education and job level. The median concentrations for finger-bone lead (Bone-Pb) were 16 vs. 32 μg/g; for current blood-lead (B-Pb), 1.6 vs. 1.8 μmol/l; for retrospective peak blood-lead (Peak-Pb), 2.7 vs. 3.0 μmol/l; and for a retrospective cumulative blood lead index (CBLI), 143 vs. 233 μmol/l x months. Nineteen unexposed male workers from a nearby mechanical plant served as controls, using the same matching algorithm. The triplets were examined with a standardised neuropsychological test battery, and four questionnaires for self-rating of symptoms and activity/stress level related to work environment. No sign of behavioural deterioration was observed in the exposed groups, either in objective cognitive tests or in subjective symptom/mood self-rating scales. Despite the limited sample size, the statistical power was sufficient to conclude that a concealed lead-associated effect was unlikely. Covariations between behavioural measures and lead exposure indices were generally low and non-significant, as a whole not exceeding a random level. No confounding or effect-modifying factor was detected that could explain the results as a type II error. To conclude, a current B-Pb of 1.8 μmol/l was not associated with adverse behavioural effects, and a long-term lead exposure around 2.0 μmol/l for 13 years (mean values) was not associated with permanent brain dysfunction.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Lead, Neuropsychological tests, Neurotoxins
in
Science of the Total Environment
volume
201
issue
1
pages
13 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:0342275229
ISSN
0048-9697
DOI
10.1016/S0048-9697(97)84051-X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6203741a-a359-4088-9b9d-1ac3643519b1
date added to LUP
2018-11-18 13:53:25
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:36:25
@article{6203741a-a359-4088-9b9d-1ac3643519b1,
  abstract     = {<p>A group of 38 male workers at a secondary smelter (period of employment 2-35 years; median 10 years) was divided into two subgroups depending on bone-lead concentration, arranged as 19 matched pairs according to age, education and job level. The median concentrations for finger-bone lead (Bone-Pb) were 16 vs. 32 μg/g; for current blood-lead (B-Pb), 1.6 vs. 1.8 μmol/l; for retrospective peak blood-lead (Peak-Pb), 2.7 vs. 3.0 μmol/l; and for a retrospective cumulative blood lead index (CBLI), 143 vs. 233 μmol/l x months. Nineteen unexposed male workers from a nearby mechanical plant served as controls, using the same matching algorithm. The triplets were examined with a standardised neuropsychological test battery, and four questionnaires for self-rating of symptoms and activity/stress level related to work environment. No sign of behavioural deterioration was observed in the exposed groups, either in objective cognitive tests or in subjective symptom/mood self-rating scales. Despite the limited sample size, the statistical power was sufficient to conclude that a concealed lead-associated effect was unlikely. Covariations between behavioural measures and lead exposure indices were generally low and non-significant, as a whole not exceeding a random level. No confounding or effect-modifying factor was detected that could explain the results as a type II error. To conclude, a current B-Pb of 1.8 μmol/l was not associated with adverse behavioural effects, and a long-term lead exposure around 2.0 μmol/l for 13 years (mean values) was not associated with permanent brain dysfunction.</p>},
  author       = {Österberg, Kai and Börjesson, Jimmy and Gerhardsson, Lars and Schütz, Andrejs and Skerfving, Staffan},
  issn         = {0048-9697},
  keyword      = {Lead,Neuropsychological tests,Neurotoxins},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {39--51},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Science of the Total Environment},
  title        = {A neurobehavioural study of long-term occupational inorganic lead exposure},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0048-9697(97)84051-X},
  volume       = {201},
  year         = {1997},
}