Study of Estimation of Urinary Delta Aminolevulinic Acid Levels as an Indicator of Lead Exposure in Pottery Workers

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Neelam J. Patil
Sayali R. Kalokhe
Sachin A. Patharkar
Alka V. Nerurkar
Pradeep N. Surve
Umesh R. Shinde


Background: Lead toxicity is a significant environmental hazard and has widespread ill effects on human body. In this study we detected the lead exposure by measuring urinary delta aminolevulinic acid levels. The activity of delta aminolevulinic acid dehydratase enzyme is inhibited significantly by lead, which leads to an increase in urinary δ- ALA excretion. Hence we can use estimation of urinary δ-ALA levels as a surrogate marker of lead exposure in pottery workers.

Aim: To estimate the urinary delta aminolevulinic acid levels in pottery workers as an index of lead exposure.

Materials and Methods: The study was done on 85 pottery workers of age group between 18 to 50 years with their brief history related to lead exposure. Their urine samples were analysed for δ-ALA by Ehrlich method.

Results: According to our observation, it was found that out of 85 urine samples; 58 samples showed increased urinary δ-ALA levels (68.23%).

Conclusion: We conclude that the prevalence of lead exposure in pottery workers in Mumbai is very high. Good hygienic practices and necessary precautions should be followed to avoid its ill effects on human body.

Urinary delta aminolevulinic acid (δ–ALA), blood lead levels (BLL), lead poisoning in pottery workers.

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How to Cite
Patil, N. J., Kalokhe, S. R., Patharkar, S. A., Nerurkar, A. V., Surve, P. N., & Shinde, U. R. (2020). Study of Estimation of Urinary Delta Aminolevulinic Acid Levels as an Indicator of Lead Exposure in Pottery Workers. Asian Journal of Medicine and Health, 18(8), 58-63.
Original Research Article


WHO. Int. Lead poisoning and health, [Online]; 2020.


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