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Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1996 Sep;33(1):109-19.

Comparative absorption of lead from contaminated soil and lead salts by weanling Fischer 344 rats.

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  • 1Battelle, 505 King Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, 43201, USA.


A 44-day dosed feed study was performed to compare the bioavailability of lead from contaminated soil versus two lead salts and the effect of soil on gastrointestinal absorption of ingested lead. Male Fischer rats (approximately 4 weeks of age) received lead, 17, 42, or 127 ppm, in the form of lead acetate, lead sulfide, lead-contaminated soil, or combinations thereof in the diet for 7, 15, or 44 days. Control soil was added to the diets of some animals to determine how it might alter lead bioavailability. Blood Delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (Delta-ALAD) and blood, bone, kidney, and liver lead were determined in groups of animals at each time-point. Blood Delta-ALAD was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner and to the greatest degree in the lead acetate and lead acetate/control soil groups, followed by the lead sulfide and lead-contaminated soil groups. Bone and tissue lead levels increased in a dose-dependent manner and were greatest in animals receiving lead acetate and significantly less in animals receiving lead sulfide and lead-contaminated soil. Blood lead levels were generally greatest by 7 days and stabilized at lower levels thereafter. Bone lead concentration-time patterns did not demonstrate the biphasic change seen with tissues and continued to increase in most treatment groups through the course of the study. The presence of soil in the diet clearly attenuated the absorption of lead acetate, but had little effect on the absorption of lead sulfide. Results of these studies confirm previous observations that lead absorption is highly dependent on the form of lead ingested and the matrix in which it is ingested. More important, these studies demonstrate that lead in soil may be significantly less available than estimated by current default assumptions and that the presence of soil may decrease the availability of lead from lead salts on which the default assumptions are based. Results presented here also demonstrate that the weanling rat may represent an appropriate model that could be used to obtain relatively rapid and economical estimates of the availability of lead in complex matrices such as soil.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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