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Phys Med Biol. 1977 Jan;22(1):56-63.

Measurement of lead content of children's teeth in situ by x-ray fluorescence.


The central nervous system of young children is particularly sensitive to neurological damage due to excessive lead exposure. The lead stored in a tooth is permanent and related to the quantity of ingested lead. The lead is assayed by measuring the characterisitc radiation from lead in a tooth in situ irradiated with gamma rays from a cobalt-57 source. The sensitivity of the method is adequate to measure lead levels commonly associated with environmental background. The X-ray exposure to the tooth necessary for this determination is approximately one tenth of that required for a routine dental examination.

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