Lead exposure in starter battery production: investigation of the correlation between air lead and blood lead levels

  • Michael Kentner
  • Thomas Fischer
Original Article

Abstract

The threshold limit value (TLV) for lead (in Germany, the MAK value) is based on a certain blood lead concentration (in Germany BAT value = biological tolerance value for working materials) that is not to be exceeded; thereby a statistically significant association between air lead (PbA) and blood lead (PbB) is assumed. On the basis of a 10-year period of (1982–1991) biological and ambient monitoring of 134 battery factory staff and their workplaces, a PbA/PbB correlation with the regression equation PbB = 62.183 + 21.242 × Log 10 (PbA) (n = 1089, r = 0.274, P < 0.001) was calculated. These results are in line with those of several other investigations. The shape of the regression curve and the wide scattering of values led to the assumption that PbA values above the MAK value (0.1 mg/m3) do not necessarily result in increased PbB values. Similarly, PbA values lower than the MAK value do not guarantee PbB levels below the BAT value in every case. These observations are influenced by numerous confounders and intervening variables. It is concluded that lowering MAK values as a consequence of lowering BAT values is not mandatory.

Key words

Biological monitoring Air lead Blood lead Battery factory 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Kentner
    • 1
  • Thomas Fischer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Occupational and Social Medicineat the University of GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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