Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry

Part of the series Advances in Isotope Geochemistry pp 769-785


Sources of Lead and Its Mobility in the Human Body Inferred from Lead Isotopes

  • Brian L. GulsonAffiliated withGraduate School of the Environment, Macquarie University

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Compared with studies applying the lead isotope method to environmental questions, those involving humans (and animals) are small in number. This brief review outlines some of the applications of the method, especially to those focussed on pregnancy, a time during which increased bone turnover associated with calcium requirements results in release of lead from the maternal skeleton and the lead can also be transferred to the infant. Thus, sources of lead to blood can be considered as external (environmental) and internal (skeletal).