Author(s): Rothenberg SJ, Schnaasarrieta L, Perezguerrero IA, Fernandezalba J, Karchmer S, Rothenberg SJ, Schnaasarrieta L, Perezguerrero IA, Fernandezalba J, Karchmer S
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Abstract PIP: Lead exposure even at low levels has adverse effects for the central nervous system (CNS), but pregnant women, neonates, lactating infants, and preschool and school age children are most susceptible to it. In rats anatomical alterations included swelling in the mitochondria of renal duct cells (at 26 mcg/dl); biochemical effects involved marked reduction of cytochrome content in the cerebral cortex (36 mcg/dl); and physiological effects were induced at the level of 30-50 mcg/dl. Central nervous system effects entailed persistent decrease of visual acuity (65 mcg/dl at birth and 7 mcg/dl 90 days later), the increase of the latency of primary and secondary components of evoked visual responses during the prenatal and adult period (65 mcg/dl and 7 mcg/dl on days 21 and 90 after birth, respectively). 30 and even 20 mcg/dl of lead in the blood produced nerve conductivity deficits. A study of 425 children with lead poisoning showed a 39\% rate of mental retardation and convulsions impervious to treatment. Lead levels within a range of 10-25 mcg/dl reduced the score on the mental development inventory by 4-8 points. The population of the Valley of Mexico numbers 15-20 million with 50\% of Mexico's industry. A who investigation indicated blood levels of an average of 22.5 mcg/dl in a group of school teachers, the highest in 10 major population centers in the world. Blood levels in 405 pregnant women in Mexico City averaged 20.3 mcg/dl, and the sample from the umbilical cord of fetuses showed 13.6 mcg/dl. Another study disclosed blood levels of 16 mcg/dl in mothers and 13 mcg/dl in their offspring. The most probable sources of lead are: leaded gasoline, secondary recapture of lead for making batteries, use of paints, ceramics used for storing and cooking food, lead seal of milk containers, and consumption of food contaminated with lead.
This article was published in Perinatol Reprod Hum
and referenced in Journal of Material Sciences & Engineering