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Absorption of lead by infants and young children.
Health evaluation of heavy metals in infant formula and junior food. Muller J, Schmidt EHF, Hildebrandt AG, eds. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1983 Jan; :69-85
The absorption of lead (7439921) (Pb) by infants and young children is reviewed. The prevalence of elevated blood Pb concentrations is discussed. The prevalence of elevated blood Pb concentrations has decreased to approximately 5 percent among the United States Centers for Disease Control sponsored community Pb poisoning prevention programs. The amount of exposure between children and adults is contrasted. Children are exposed to more Pb than are adults because of metabolic and behavioral differences. Increased Pb exposure through mouthing of hands is common because of pica. Pb intake from air and water is higher on a microgram per kilogram basis for children than adults. Absorption and tissue retention of Pb are described. In young children, the brain seems especially vulnerable to accumulation of Pb. Consideration is given to the biological consequences of tissue Pb content. The hematopoietic effects of Pb are examined. Renal and central nervous system (CNS) effects are also presented. Renal changes include a nephropathy that is not specific but characterized by intense interstitial fibrosis, tubular atrophy, and dilatation. Pb that enters the CNS can produce alterations in CNS metabolism and function. The author concludes that when the same concentration of Pb is present in air, food, or water, the young are overexposed because they absorb and retain more Pb than adults do.
Children; Biological-effects; Environmental-exposure; Lead-absorption; Metabolism; Age-factors; Body-retention; Tissue-distribution; Toxic-effects
Muller J; Schmidt EHF; Hildebrandt AG
Health evaluation of heavy metals in infant formula and junior food
Page last reviewed: October 9, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division