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J Adolesc Health. 2002 Mar;30(3):213-6.

Lead exposure and urinary N-acetyl beta D glucosaminidase activity in adolescent workers in auto repair workshops.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, Adnan Menderes University Faculty of Medicine, Aydin, Turkey.



To investigate levels of lead (Pb) exposure and renal tubular damage among adolescent workers in auto repair workshops in Turkey.


The study was conducted on 39 adolescent workers (mean age: 16.18 +/- 3.19 years) in auto repair workshops (8 autoelectrician, 10 motor repairman, 8 auto painter, 5 turner, 8 bonnet straighter). Thirteen adult employees of battery production in the workshops (mean age: 32.08 +/- 10.94 years) and 29 healthy rural adolescent (mean age: 14.78 +/- 2.68 years) constituted the control groups. The level of blood Pb was investigated by an atomic absorption spectrophotometer and urinary N-acetyl beta- D glucosaminidase (NAG) activity was measured by a colorimetric method. Mann-Whitney U test was performed to examine group differences.


All subjects and controls had normal blood urea, creatinine, uric acid, sodium, potassium levels, normal routine urine examination and tubular phosphorus reabsorption. Blood Pb levels in auto repair workers (8.13 +/- 7.41 mug/dL) were significantly higher than the rural control group (3.49 +/- 1.39 mug/dL) but lower than the battery workers (25.27 +/- 9.82 mug/dL). Urinary NAG (U/gr creatinine) (4.71 +/- 2.11) was lower than the battery workers (7.39 +/- 4.37), however significantly higher than the normal control group (3.07 +/- 1.20). In addition, auto painters had higher levels of Pb exposure and urinary NAG activity than the other workers (p <.05).


Chronic low dose Pb exposure was found to cause renal tubular injury in children workers of auto repair workshops.

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