Healthy Baby |

Healthy Baby

Running head: HEALTHY BABY 1
Healthy Baby
[Student Name’s]
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
directly absorbed directly through the lung. On the other hand, Dermal absorption of lead is
dependent on physical characteristics of lead the integrity of the skin; in this context, organic
and inorganic lead. Organic lead compound is absorbed through the skin, unlike inorganic
lead (Pastorinho, Telfer, and Soares, 2009).
After absorption, lead enters the bloodstream in the red blood cells, which distribute it
to various organ systems in the body. This result to most effects of lead exposure to be seen
in almost all the systems of the body and results in toxicity to many organs (Bannon, Olivi
and Bressler, 2000). However, toxicity depends on absorption, distribution and metabolism.
Therefore, it is essential to understand absorption and distribution of lead in the human body
for excretion or make it available to other tissues. Excretion of lead is dependent on age.
Elimination duration is inversely proportional to age. The elimination half-life of lead in adult
human blood is about one month while that of children in about ten months (Boyle et al.,
The blood distributes lead to various organs. Lead is transported quickly in and out of
soft tissues. Liver, lungs and kidney, as well as the brain, have the greatest concentrations of
lead in soft tissue soon after acute exposure. The distribution of lead in these tissues is
dependent on sex and age (Lanszki, Orosz and Sugar, 2009). Adult retains less lead in soft
tissue than children. Moreover, concentration of lead varies in these tissues, in respect to
gender (Sobekova et al., 2009). Most of lead is distribution and accumulation in the human
body takes place in the bones. About 90% of the lead body burden in adults is in the bones
while children contain about 75%. Therefore, children are more likely to be affect by lead
exposure at level of absorption and distribution than adults.
Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR), (2003) Toxicological profile for
lead. Atlanta GA: US Department of Health and Humans Services, Public Health
Service, Centers for Disease Control
Andersen M., Sarangapani R., Reitz R., et al. (2001) Physiological modeling reveals novel
pharmacokinetic behavior for inhaled octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane in rats.
Toxicology Science 60, 214231.
Bannon D., Olivi L. and Bressler J. (2000) The role of anion exchange in the uptake of Pb by
human erythrocytes and Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Toxicology 147, 101107.
Dauwe T., Snoeijs T., Bervoets L., et al. (2006) Calcium availability influences lead
accumulation in a passerine bird. Animal Biology 56, (3), 289298.
Lanszki J., Orosz E. and Sugar L. (2009) Metal levels in tissues of Eurasian otters (Lutra
lutra) from Hungary: variation with sex, age, condition and location. Chemosphere
74, (5), 741743.
Pastorinho M., Telfer T. and Soares A. (2009) Amphipod susceptibility to metals: cautionary
tales. Chemosphere 75, (11), 14231428.
Silbergeld E., Waalkes M. and Rice J. (2000) Lead as a carcinogen: experimental evidence
and mechanisms of action. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 38, 316323.
Sobekova A., Holovska K., Lenartova V., et al. (2009) The alteration of glutathione
peroxidase activity in rat organs after lead exposure. Act Physiological Hungarica 96,
(1), 3744.
Tchernitchin NN, Clavero A, Mena MA, et al. (2003) Effect of chronic exposure to lead on
estrogen action in the prepubertal rat uterus. Environmental Toxicology 18, (4), 268

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