Aluminium is used in a wide range of industrial processes such as the manufacture of alloys, window frames, engine parts, aircraft parts, roofs, electric wires etc.
Aluminium is mainly absorbed through the lungs by inhalation of fumes and fine dust particles. Some aluminium is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract when large amounts of high aluminium containing compounds are ingested, such as antacids. It is largely excreted via the urine, although some is also excreted in the bile.
Measurement of urine aluminium is used to monitor workers occupationally exposed to fumes and dust. Welders have the highest excretion levels among exposed workers.
The half life of aluminium is 8 hours, a relatively short period, at first exposure. However, this increases with the length of exposure, and can reach 6 months after 10 years of exposure.
Send to separating if ambient on arrival. Send to trace metals if frozen on arrival.
Make aliquot for UCRN. Send primary sample to trace metals.
Aluminium is widespread in the environment so the sample must be taken in a clean environment
See protocol for 24 hour urine when exposure is non-occupational.
Ambient (8 - 24 degrees Celsius)
If overnight - Chilled (2 - 8 degrees Celsius)
Transport to lab ambient in leak proof containers
The urine pottle used for collection must be free of aluminium contamination.
Urgent testing by arrangement
non exposed levels <0.4 umol/L (< 10 ug/L)
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