Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

On the value of 5-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity as predictor for lead in blood

  • 23 Accesses

  • 4 Citations


In 222 females lead in blood (PbB) and 5-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity (ALA-D) were measured. PbB ranged from 40 to 240 ppb. The measurement error (precision) of PbB-determination was 18ppb. The error in predicting actual lead in blood from ALA-D amounted to 32 ppb. This could be ascribed to biological variation and insufficient specificity of ALA-D for lead in blood. It is concluded that ALA-D as predictor for lead in blood can only be used:

  1. 1.

    for group monitoring

  2. 2.

    as rough measure for lead in blood in individual cases at low levels of lead exposure.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Azar, A., Snee, R. D., Habibi, K.: An epidemiologic approach to community air lead exposure using personal air samplers. In: Lead; T. B. Griffin and J. H. Knelson, Environm. quality and safety, suppl. Vol. II. eds. p. 254. Stuttgart: Thieme 1975

  2. Berlin, A., Schaller, K. H.: European standardized method for the determination of δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity in blood. Z. klin. Chem. klin. Biochem. 12, 389 (1974)

  3. Berlin, A., Schaller, K. H., Smeets, J.: Standardisation of ALA-D activity determinations at the European level; intercalibration and applications. In: Proc. int. symp. Recent advances in the assessment of the health effects of environmental pollution CEC-EPA-WHO, Paris, June 1974. p. 1087. Luxembourg: Comm. Europ. Comm. 1975

  4. Flindt, M. L., King, E., Walsh, D. B.: Blood lead and erythrocyte 6-amino levulinic acid dehydratase levels in Manchester taxi drivers. Brit. J. industr. Med. 33, 79 (1976)

  5. Haeger-Aronsen, B., Abdulla, M., Fristedt, N. I.: Effect of lead on 6-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity in red blood cells. Arch. environ. Hlth. 29, 150 (1974)

  6. Haeger-Aronsen, B., Schutz, A., Abdulla, M.: Antagnonistic effect of zinc on inhibition of ALA-dehydratase by lead. Arch. Environm. Hlth. 31, 215 (1976)

  7. Hernberg, S., Nikkanen, J., Mellin, G., Lilius, H.: Delta aminolevulinic acid dehydratase as a measure of lead exposure. Arch. environm. Hlth. 21, 140 (1970)

  8. Hwang, J. Y., Ulucci, P. A., Mokeler, C. J.: Direct flameless atomic absorption of lead in blood. Anal. Chem. 45, 795 (1973)

  9. Mandel, J.: The Statistical Analysis of Experimental Data. New York: Interscience 1964

  10. Nordman, C. H., Hernberg S.: Blood lead levels and erythrocyte 6-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity of selected population groups in Helsinki. Scand. J. Work. Environm. Hlth. 1, 219 (1975)

  11. Posma, F. D., Balke, J., Herber, R. F. M., Stuik, E. J.: Microdetermination of cadmium and lead in whole blood using carbon-tube and carbon-cup as sample cell and comparison with flame studies. Anal. Chem. 47, 834 (1975)

  12. Rosen, J. F., Trinidad, E. A.: The microdetermination of blood lead in children with flameless atomic absorption: the carbon rod atomizer. J. Lab. clin. Med. 80, 567 (1972)

  13. Salle, H. J. A., Zielhuis, R. L.: Influence of smoking on aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity, hematocrite and lead in blood in adult urban women. Int. Arch. Occup. environm. Hlth. 39, 111 (1977)

  14. Zielhuis, R. L., Stuik, E. J., Herber, R. F. M., Salle, H. J. A., Verberk, M. M., Posma, F. D., Jager, J. H.: Smoking habits and levels of lead and cadmium in blood of urban women. Int. Arch. Occup. Environm. Hlth. 39, 53 (1977)

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Herber, R.F.M., Sallé, H.J.A. On the value of 5-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity as predictor for lead in blood. Int. Arch Occup Environ Heath 41, 147–150 (1978).

Download citation

Key words

  • Lead-in-blood
  • ALA-D