Jared is a 62-year-old male who has asthma but is otherwise in good health. He works in the plate-processing section of a battery manufacturing plant. One of the risks in working in the plate-processing department is exposure to airborne lead. Jared has become comfortable after working in the same position at the plant for the last 25 years. At times, he may rush or skip steps or not pay attention to best safety practices of the company. For the past several months, Jared has put in many hours of overtime as he prepares for retirement. At the end of his shift, Jared skips changing and leaving his clothes at the plant to be washed before going home, saying that he will wash them at home himself.
In addition to Jared’s relaxed behavior toward safety practices, he works in an older building, and the equipment does not always function the way that it should. Quite a while back, the vacuum for Jared’s station stopped working, and Jared has been forgetting to report the broken vacuum. He has not placed an equipment replacement request to have a new vacuum delivered to his station. Jared has been cleaning his area by sweeping with a broom that he borrowed from a maintenance closet on the office floor since he does not have a functional vacuum.
Lately, Jared has been experiencing extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and muscle pain that he blames on the long work hours. The addition of stomach cramps to his existing symptoms, however, has led him to go to the doctor. Upon evaluation, the doctor has determined that Jared has extremely high levels (40 ug/DL) of lead in his system. A blood concentration of <5ug/dL of lead is considered elevated. At a concentration of 40 ug/dl of lead in the blood, Jared is experiencing the onset of lead toxicity.
Reflect on the above case study and reference the required unit resources for this unit to respond to the case study analysis below.
Discuss how Jared’s profile (age, health status, etc.) can affect his susceptibility to lead toxicity.
Consider the ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) of lead in this case study.
Discuss the most likely route of absorption of lead in this case study.
Lead is not metabolized by the liver. Explain Phase 1 and 2 reactions. Would the lead in Jared’s body undergo biotransformation and Phase 1 and 2 reactions? Explain.
Due to the route of absorption, how will lead be distributed throughout Jared’s body?
If the half-life of lead is 28 days, how long will it take for 40ug/dL of lead be reduced to less than 5ug/dL? Explain how you determined that time frame.
If you were the safety supervisor at the battery manufacturing plant where Jared works, what would be some points that you address with him to avoid further exposure to lead at work?
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