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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2326-2338; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072326
Article

Effects of Delta-Aminolevulinic Acid Dehydratase Polymorphisms on Susceptibility to Lead in Han Subjects from Southwestern China

1,* , 2
 and
3
1 Department of Occupational Hygiene, West China Fourth Hospital of West China Public Health Institute, Sichuan University, 18 Renmin Nanlu, Chengdu 610041, China 2 Department of Internal Medicine, West China Fourth Hospital of West China Public Health Institute, Sichuan University, 18 Renmin Nanlu, Chengdu 610041, China 3 Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Fudan University, 130 Dongan Road, Shanghai 200032, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 May 2012 / Revised: 8 June 2012 / Accepted: 25 June 2012 / Published: 2 July 2012
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Abstract

This study is to determine the distribution of the delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) polymorphism among Han subjects of the Chinese population and to study whether the polymorphism in the ALAD gene modifies the toxicity of lead in lead-exposed workers. For this purpose we conducted a cross-sectional study on 156 Chinese workers who were exposed to lead in lead-acid battery and electric-flex manufacturing plants. The authors found that the allele frequencies of ALAD1 and ALAD2 were 0.9679 and 0.0321, respectively. Workers with the ALAD 1-1 genotype were associated with higher blood lead levels than those with the ALAD 1-2 genotype. Blood and urine lead levels were much higher in storage battery workers than in cable workers. The self-conscious symptom survey showed that the incidences of debilitation, amnesia and dreaminess were much higher in those had more than five years of tenure or contact with lead on the job within the ALAD 1-1 genotype subgroup. Laboratory examinations showed that serum iron and zinc levels in workers’ with the ALAD 1-2 genotype were higher than those with the ALAD 1-1 genotype, especially in storage-battery workers. Correlation analysis indicated that the blood lead level negatively correlated with serum calcium, iron and zinc level. The data of this study suggest that the ALAD gene polymorphism and serum ion levels may modify the kinetics of lead in blood. Therefore, the authors recommend that an adequate intake of dietary calcium, iron, and zinc or the calcium, iron, and zinc supplementation should be prescribed to Chinese lead exposed workers.
Keywords: lead poisoning; occupational exposure; polymorphism; delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase; Chinese lead poisoning; occupational exposure; polymorphism; delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase; Chinese
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Yang, Y.; Wu, J.; Sun, P. Effects of Delta-Aminolevulinic Acid Dehydratase Polymorphisms on Susceptibility to Lead in Han Subjects from Southwestern China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 2326-2338.

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