A cross-sectional study was performed on 165 male lead-exposed workers to clarify the quantitative relationships between less severe exposure to lead and its effects on renal function in 1985. Mean and range of blood lead concentration (Pb-B) were 36.5 μg/ dl and 6-73μg/dl, respectively. Duration of lead expusure was 0.1 to 26.3 years. No lead-related changes were detected in serum creatinine concentration, beta-2 microgloburin in urine, creatinine clearance, beta-2 microgloburin clearance, and uric acid clearance. Twenty of the 165 workers had been exposed to lead for more than 10 years with mean duration of 21.0 years. Average concentrations of Pb-B in each individual during 1972 to 1984 were 26.1-66.6 μg/dl. Renal function indices of these 20 workers were not different from those of remaining lead-exposed workers whose lead exposure duration were 10 years or less. These results suggest that long-term less severe exposure to lead up to 70μg/dl of Pb-B may not cause adverse effects on renal glomerular function and proximal tubular function.
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