Table 3: Studies of lead excretion in sweat.

StudyCountry, participantsStudy design and interventionKey findings (concentrations μg/L unless otherwise indicated)

Genuis et al., 2010 [3]Canada
10 with chronic health conditions
10 healthy
Analyses of blood plasma, urine, and sweat
Sweating induced by exercise or sauna, collected directly into bottle
Sweat mean 31 (range 1.5–94) ()
Blood plasma mean 0.12 (0.39–1.7) ()
Urine mean 1.8 (0.91–7.5) ()

Omokhodion and Crockford, 1991 [34]UK
2 participants
Blood, urine, and sweat lead measured before and following ingestion of lead chloride: 1 or 2 doses of lead chloride (20 mg PbCl2 total, in 1 or 2 divided doses).Blood lead peaked at 4 h
Sweat concentrations did not increase significantly (range 0–11)
Blood concentration range 6–51
Urine concentration range 10–97
Arm sweat collections varied by more than 2-fold between arms at the same time on the same person

Omokhodion and Howard, 1991 [35]Unidentified “tropics”
19 workers in a lead battery factory
8 controls (medical students)
Measured lead in sweat, blood, and urine simultaneously
Sweating induced by exercising at room temperature.
Sweat collected in arm bags.
(i) blood lead 13–36
(ii) urine lead 28–290 μg/g creatinine
(iii) sweat lead 72–260
(i) blood lead 90–120
(ii) urine lead 9–20 μg/g creatinine
(iii) sweat lead 9–30

Omokhodion and Crockford, 1991 [36]UK
24 normal, healthy subjects
Measured lead in sweat, urine, blood, and saliva
Sweat collected in arm bags, sitting in a hot chamber
(i) Blood lead 86 (range 60–140)
(ii) Urine lead 18 μg/g creatinine (range 7.7–44 μg/g creatinine)
(iii) Mean sweat lead 5.2 (2.5–13)
(iv) Saliva lead 4.8 (2.5–10)

Parpaleĭ et al., 1991 [27] (in Russian—English abstract only)Russia
NR in abstract
NR in abstract“… sauna increased excretion with sweat fluid of toxic substances [lead] that penetrated the body during work. Sauna is recommended.”

Lilley et al., 1988 [37]Australia
9 lead workers volunteers had lead applied to skin
Lead dust 6 h/day for 4 days 20 mg Pb dust on L arm of volunteer
PbNO3 24 h of 60 mg
PbNO3 on L arm of volunteer.
Sweat lead in workers: 71–18,000
Following exposure, sweat lead from R arm increased approximately by 10x, returning to baseline after approximately by 2–4 days. Saliva increased approximately 5-6x. Urine and blood levels were unchanged

Stauber and Florence, 1988 [28]Australia
24 males
13 females taking oral contraceptives
26 not taking oral contraceptives
Sweating induced on the forearms by pilocarpine iontophoresis and collected on a membrane filterMean sweat lead:
(i) males: 41 (range 6–87)
(ii) females not taking contraceptives: 24 (<5–66) (difference with males )
(iii) females taking contraceptives: 36 (<5–70)

Stauber and Florence, 1987 [22]Australia
9 males
7 females taking oral contraceptives
6 not taking oral contraceptives (unclear overlap with 1988 participants)
Sweating induced in the forearms by pilocarpine iontophoresis and collected on a membrane filterNo significant differences among groups
Mean blood lead 200
Mean blood plasma lead 10
Mean sweat lead 15

Haber et al., 1985 [26] (in German-used extended abstract)Germany
4 groups of 8 males
2 groups with occupational lead exposure
2 control groups
Comparison of precisely defined physical work (intensive cycling and extended rowing in a pool), examining lead excretion in persons with elevated blood levels compared with nonexposed controlsAerobic endurance training (rowing) caused a significant drop in the blood lead level in the occupationally exposed group (mean 430 (range 320–580) decreased to 370 (240–450)) ()
Endurance training was more effective than shorter, more intensive training (cycling)
Urine lead levels were not significantly affected by training

Cohn and Emmett, 1978 [33]USA
6 males
3 females
Total body washdown and arm bag techniquesThe mean concentration of lead in sweat was similar to that in urine
(1) Total body sweat lead mean:
 (i) males: 24 (SD 16)
 (ii) females: 53 (range 40–60)
(2) Body minus 1 arm/arm bag sweat lead 60 (SD 16) (40–120)/83 (86) (20–250)

Hohnandel et al., 1973 [38]33 healthy males
15 females
15 min of arm bag collectionMean sweat lead:
(i) males: 51 (range 8–180)
(ii) females: 120 (SD 72) (49–280)