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Occup Med (Lond). 1996 Feb;46(1):41-8.

The use of chelating agents in occupational lead poisoning.

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Institute of Occupational Health, University of Brescia, Italy.


Chelating agents have long been used in the pharmacological treatment of lead poisoning, whose management is still a problem, particularly in developing countries. This article reviews the pharmacological properties of dimercaprole, peniclliamine. CaNa2EDTA and dimercaprosuccinic acid, examines their indications, contraindications and side effects and discusses the possible use of each drug in occupational Pb poisoning. Proposals are also presented for the treatment and follow-up of subjects with signs and symptoms of poisoning and of subjects with low-moderate Pb absorption. CaNa2EDTA seems to be the most reliable and safer chelating agent nowadays available and with a wider spectrum of action. DMSA seems to be promising in the treatment of occupational Pb poisoning. Even though there is no doubt that chelation therapy has significantly contributed to reduce mortality and morbidity from occupational Pb poisoning, the efficacy of this treatment in subjects with subtle neurological or renal damage has not yet been studied properly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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