High precision lead isotope ratios in blood from 58 children aged 1-11 years from the Broken Hill lead mining community have been measured to determine the source and pathways of lead in their blood. Sources of lead are from the Pb-Zn-Ag orebody (lead), from paint and from petrol. Thirty-five of the 58 children (60%) had blood leads (PbB) ≥0.72 μmol/l (15 μg/dl), the current level of 'personal exposure and source remediation/abatement' compared with a 'background' level of ~0.29 μmol/l (6 μg/dl), estimated from adult females who were generally mothers of the children. Six of 17 children aged 7 years or older, had PbBs ≥ 0.72 μmol/l (15 μg/dl). Even though the orebody lead is the major contributor to PbB in Broken Hill children, of the 35 children whose PbB is ≥0.72 μm/l (15 μg/dl), 12 (34%) have ~50% or more of their PbB derived from sources such as paint and petrol or both by isotopic identification. The identification of elevated PbB in older children is a concern, especially for females, as there is potential for release of endogenous lead during pregnancy and lactation.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Science of the Total Environment|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Mar 1996|
Bibliographical noteCorrigendum can be found in The Science of the Total Environment, 191(3), pages 299-301, 1996, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0048-9697(96)05307-7
- lead mine
- young children