Objectives To appreciate childhood exposure to heavy metals in the Copsa Mica area (the most polluted area in Europe); to evaluate the utility of UA1M in comparison with urea and creatinine blood levels concerning the early detection of kidney impairment.
Methods There were studied 2 groups: 1st group consisted of 90 children exposed to heavy metals and the 2nd group consisted of 88 non-exposed children. The 2 groups were homogenous regarding the age and sex ratio. Inclusion criteria: no renal disease and age between 2–16 years. The groups were evaluated for lead, cadmium, urea and creatinine levels from blood. The UA1M was tested in 35 exposed children. According to Center for Disease Control classification, the exposed children were divided into 4 subgroups: 1st subgroup with blood lead level (BLL μg%) up to 9, 2nd with BLL 9–14, 3rd with BLL 14–19 and the 4th with BLL>19.
Results The mean value for BLL for exposed children was 11.15 μg% as compared to non-exposed children (1.95 μg%), p = 0.000. The maximum BLL among exposed children was 24.95 μg%. The blood cadmium levels were normal for both groups; the urea and creatinine levels were also normal without statistically significant difference between the groups; the UA1M values were normal for all 35 exposed children.
Conclusions The children from Copsa Mica area are still exposed to lead; the study didn’t confirm exposure to cadmium; the normal mean value for UA1M didn’t confirm any kidney function impairment even for children with BLL>19 μg%.