Lead bioavailability in the environment of children: Blood lead levels in children can be elevated in a mining community

Donald Howarth*, Brian L. Gulson, Jeffrey J. Davis, Karen J. Mizon, Michael J. Korsch, Alistair J. Law

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lower blood lead averages in mining communities, compared with other child exposure settings, e.g., innercity areas of the United States and smelter communities, have been attributed to lower bioavailability of lead to children in the mining areas. Direct supporting evidence of the lower bioavailability has, however, generally been lacking. Elevated blood lead levels for approximately 85% of children with > 10 μg/dl have been reported from the Broken Hill mining community in Australia. Lead isotope, optical, and scanning electron microscope analyses on the lead species from soils and dusts show them to be derived mainly from weathered ore body material. Solubility tests using 0.1 M HCl on the −53+38 μm fraction of soil and dust show the lead species to have a high degree of bioavailability. Ingestion of soil and dust, either directly or via mouthing activity, is the main source and pathway for elevated blood lead in children from this community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-331
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Environmental Health
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Lead bioavailability in the environment of children: Blood lead levels in children can be elevated in a mining community'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this