Zinc protoporphyrin as an indicator of lead exposure: precision of zinc protoporphyrin measurements

  • Marga Verschoor
  • Robert Herber
  • Reinier Zielhuis
  • Anton Wibowo
Short Communication


In lead-exposed workers many factors affect the relationship between the levels of lead and of zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) in blood. When the zinc protoporphyrin level is used to assess the lead in the blood level, the analytical accuracy of the ZPP and the PbB determinations should be known. Also the variability of lead exposure over time is an important parameter of this assessment. The absolute and relative precision of ZPP measurements with two brands of ZPP meters (AVIV and ESA) were compared. The absolute precision of the ZPP measurements is not constant for the AVIV meter, but is constant for the ESA meter. The relative precision for both brands of meters decreases with increasing ZPP levels. Between the AVIV and the ESA meters, a significant difference in response, irrespective of the kind of anticoagulant used, was observed. The regression equations between PbB and ZPP levels were studied. Different factors can affect the relationship between PbB and ZPP, e.g. variability in lead exposure, the time-lag between the increase of PbB and ZPP, and the precision and accuracy of PbB and ZPP measurements.

Key words

Precision Accuracy Standardization Zinc protoporphyrin Lead in blood 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marga Verschoor
    • 1
  • Robert Herber
    • 1
  • Reinier Zielhuis
    • 1
  • Anton Wibowo
    • 1
  1. 1.Coronel Laboratory for Occupational and Environmental Health, Medical FacultyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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