Bone lead levels for 367 active and 14 retired lead smelter workers were measured in vivo by X-ray fluorescence in May-June 1994. The bone sites of study were the tibia and calcaneus; magnitudes of concentration were used to gauge lead body burden. Whole blood lead readings from the workers generated a cumulative blood lead index (CBLI) that approximated the level of lead exposure over time. Blood lead values for 204 of the 381 workers were gathered from workers returning from a 10-month work interruption that ended in 1991; their blood level values were compared to their tibia and calcaneus lead levels. The resulting relations allowed constraints to be placed on the endogenous release of lead from bone in smelter works. Calcaneus lead levels were found to correlate strongly with those for tibia lead, and in a manner consistent with observations from other lead industry workers. Relations between bone lead concentration and CBLI demonstrated a distinctly nonlinear appearance. When the active population was divided by date of hire, a significant difference in the bone lead-CBLI slope emerged. After a correction to include the component of CBLI existing before the workers' employment at the smelter was made, this difference persisted. This implies that the transfer of lead from blood to bone in the workers has changed over time, possibly as a consequence of varying exposure conditions.
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An environmental survey was performed in Lake Kyrtj?nn, a small lake within an abandoned shooting range in the south of Norway. In Lake Kyrtj?nn the total water concentrations of Pb (14?g/L), Cu (6.1?g/L) and Sb (1.3?g/L) were elevated compared to the nearby reference Lake Stitj?nn, where the total concentrations of Pb, Cu and Sb were 0.76, 1.8 and 0.12?g/L, respectively. Brown trout (Salmo trutta) from Lake Kyrtj?nn had very high levels of Pb in bone (104mg/kg w.w.), kidney (161mg/kg w.w.) and the gills (137mg/kg d.w), and a strong inhibition of the ALA-D enzyme activity were observed in the blood (24% of control). Dry fertilized brown trout eggs were placed in the small outlet streams from Lake Kyrtj?nn and the reference lake for 6 months, and the concentrations of Pb and Cu in eggs from the Lake Kyrtj?nn stream were significantly higher than in eggs from the reference. More than 90% of Pb accumulated in the egg shell, whereas more than 80% of the Cu and Zn accumulated in the egg interior. Pb in the lake sediments was elevated in the upper 2-5cm layer (410-2700mg/kg d.w), and was predominantly associated with redox sensitive fractions (e.g., organic materials, hydroxides) indicating low potential mobility and bioavailability of the deposited Pb. Only minor amounts of Cu and Sb were deposited in the sediments. The present work showed that the adult brown trout, as well as fertilized eggs and alevins, may be subjected to increased stress due to chronic exposure to Pb, whereas exposure to Cu, Zn and Sb were of less importance.
This study examined the possibility that lead pipes in the drinking water distribution system were elevating the blood lead levels of children in London, Ontario, Canada. Based on their postal codes, 164 children admitted between 1984 and 1989 to an institution for the behaviorally disordered or developmentally challenged were categorized according to whether they lived in the area of the city known by the local Public Utilities Commission to be serviced by lead pipes. Analysis of covariance was used to obtain confounder-adjusted geometric means in each area. After adjusting for gender, year of lead test (a surrogate for gasoline source), and census tract prevalence of low family income, children in the lead service area (LSA) were found not to have higher blood lead levels (geometric means: LSA = 4.7 micrograms/dl, Non-LSA = 4.8 micrograms/dL; p = 0.839). The average blood lead level declined 60.9% between 1984 and 1989. Using municipal tax assessment data on the age of each child's home, those children living in homes built during or before 1945 (when interior paints were as much as 50% lead by dry weight) had an average blood lead level that was 62.3% higher (p = 0.011) than that of those in homes built since 1975 (when interior paints were limited to no higher than 0.5% lead by dry weight). A clear gradient was observed. This association with age of home remained significant after adjusting for gender, diagnosis, and year of lead test. Variables indicating the amount of industry near the child's residence and the presence of lead service pipes did not enter the model after house-age. In conclusion, no evidence indicated that the lead service pipes were elevating blood lead levels in these London children. The data suggest that with the removal of lead from gasoline, lead-based paint is a significant remaining source of lead exposure. Little data are available on childhood lead exposure from paint in Canada. The present descriptive data suggest that more research into this potential problem in Canada is warranted.
Industrial hygiene surveys were conducted at three hot dip galvanizing plants to determine occupational exposure to nickel, zinc, and lead. All three plants employed the "dry process" and used 2% nickel, by weight, in their zinc baths. A total of 32 personal and area air samples were taken. The air samples were analyzed for nickel, zinc, and lead. Some samples were also analyzed for various species of nickel (i.e., metallic, soluble, and oxidic). The airborne concentrations observed for nickel and its three species, zinc, and lead at the three plants were all well below the current and proposed threshold limit values recommended by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
An electromechanical drill with titanium barrels was used to recover a 63.7 m long firn core from Devon Island Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada, representing 155 years of precipitation. The core was processed and analysed at the Geological Survey of Canada by following strict clean procedures for measurements of Pb and Cd at concentrations at or below the pg g(-1) level. This paper describes the effectiveness of the titanium drill with respect to contamination during ice core retrieval and evaluates sample-processing procedures in laboratories. The results demonstrate that: (1) ice cores retrieved with this titanium drill are of excellent quality with metal contamination one to four orders of magnitude less than those retrieved with conventional drills; (2) the core cleaning and sampling protocols used were effective, contamination-free, and adequate for analysis of the metals (Pb and Cd) at low pg g(-1) levels; and (3) results from 489 firn core samples analysed in this study are comparable with published data from other sites in the Arctic, Greenland and the Antarctic.
Dwellings with/without a lead service line [LSL] were sampled for lead in tap water in Montreal, during different seasons. Short-term simulations using these results and the batchrun mode of the Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic (IEUBK) model showed that children's exposure to lead at the tap in the presence of an LSL varies seasonally, and according to the type of dwelling. From July to March, for single-family homes, the estimated geometric mean [GM] blood lead level [BLL] decreased from 2.3-3.6 µg/dL to 1.5-2.5 µg/dL, depending on the children's age. The wide seasonal variations in lead exposure result in a minimal fraction (0-6%) of children with a predicted BLL >5 µg/dL in winter, as opposed to a significant proportion (5-25%) in summer. These estimations are in close agreement with the BLLs measured in Montreal children in fall and winter, and simulations using summer water lead levels illustrate the importance of measuring BLLs during the summer. Finally, simulations for wartime residences with long LSLs confirm the need to prioritize the control of this lead exposure from tap water.
Mosses collected decades ago and stored in herbaria are often used to assess historical nitrogen deposition. This method is effectively based on the assumption that tissue N concentration remains constant during storage. The present study raises serious doubt about the generality of that assumption. We measured tissue N and C concentrations as well as d15N, d13C, Pb and Mg in herbarium and present day samples of seven bryophyte species from six sites across Denmark. While an increase in nitrogen deposition during the last century is well-documented for the study site, we surprisingly found foliar N concentration to be higher in historical samples than in modern samples. Based on d15N values and Pb concentration, we find nitrogen contamination of herbarium specimens during storage to be the most likely cause, possibly in combination with dilution though growth and/or decomposition during storage. We suggest ways to assess contamination and recommend caution to be taken when using herbarium specimens to assess historical pollution if exposure during storage cannot be ruled out.