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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


MOREIRA, Maria de Fátima Ramos  and  NEVES, Eduardo Borba. Use of urine lead level as an exposure indicator and its relationship to blood lead. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.9, pp.2151-2159. ISSN 1678-4464.

The aim of this work was to verify whether there are statistically significant correlation between the concentrations of lead in blood (Pb-B) and urine (Pb-U). Electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry was used in the determination of lead concentration in biological material. Venous blood and spot urine were collected from workers occupationally exposed (95), adults (130) and children up to 15 years old (22) environmentally exposed. After a test showing significant differences between Pb-U and the three categories previously determined, cutting points for Pb-U were established to predict Pb-B values by the ROC curve. Thus, it is expected that Pb-B is lower than 10 µg.dL-1 with Pb-U up to 0.55 µg. dL-1, whereas lead levels in blood below 27.6 µg. dL-1 are expected when the amount of the metal in urine is lower than 2.05 µg.dL-1. So, urine can be used to replace blood for the assessment of the occupational exposure to lead. However, caution is advised in the case of environmental exposure, since urinary lead should be used just as an estimation of the metal content in blood.

Keywords : Lead; Occupational Exposure; Blood; Urine.

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