HEALTHY BABY 2
Lead is a major environmental pollutant. It has the effect on numerous body systems.
According to ATSDR, 2003, Lead affects nervous, circulatory, skeletal, renal, hematopoietic,
immune and endocrine systems. The exposure to lead results from contaminated air, water,
soil, food and consumer products. In this context, the focus is on occupational exposure
since; in this case, the hospital discovered that all patients were from the same manufacturing
plant. Moreover, the focus is on lead absorption and distribution in the aspect of age, gender
and nature of lead.
Lead can be absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract or the lung or skin. Lead
absorption through the gastrointestinal tract depends on various factors. These include age of
a person, physical appearance of lead the element bulk ingested, the gastrointestinal tract
transit time, nutritional status of the person ingesting (Andersen et al., 2001). Children are at
higher risk for absorption of lead than adults.
The absorption of lead is inversely proportional to size of the particle (Dauwe et al.
2006). Therefore, exposures from chips of lead paint result to a lower absorption than the
equivalent amount of lead from lead dust. Moreover, the absorption of lead is dependent of
the diet. High intake of fat result to increased lead absorption (Bannon, Olivi and Bressler,
2000. On the other hand, lead absorption decreases if thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin E and
phosphorus are in the diet (Bannon, Olivi and Bressler, 2000. In respect to age, lead
absorption is inversely proportional to age. Higher percentage ingested by children is
absorbed than by adults. In children, absorption of lead ingested is about 30-50%. On the
other hand, in adults, only about 10% absorption of lead ingested.
Moreover, lead may be absorbed directly through lungs if inhaled in fine particulate
form. The absorption rate depends on the size of the particle and respiratory volume of lead
inhaled (Pastorinho, Telfer, and Soares, 2009). Therefore, lead inhaled in vapor form is