(1/2439) Lead and mercury residues in kidney and liver of Canadian slaughter animals.

Liver and kidney samples were collected from Canadian slaughter animals during the winter of 1973-1974. A total of 256 samples were analyzed for lead. Mean lead levels of 1.02 ppm in poultry liver, 1.04 ppm in bovine liver, 1.02 ppm in bovine kidney, 0.73 ppm in pork liver and 0.85 ppm in pork kidney were found. A total of 265 samples were analyzed for mercury. Mean mercury levels of 0.003 ppm in poultry liver, 0.007 ppm in bovine liver, 0.008 ppm in bovine kidney, 0.001 ppm in pork liver and 0.013 ppm in pork kidney were found. All levels detected were below the Canadian official tolerance of 2 ppm for lead and administrative tolerance of 0.5 ppm for mercury.  (+info)

(2/2439) Lead exposure in the lead-acid storage battery manufacturing and PVC compounding industries.

This study was conducted as part of the Human Exposure Assessment Location (HEAL) Project which comes under the United Nations Environment Programme/World Health Organisation (UNEP/WHO) Global environmental Monitoring System (GEMS). The objective of the study was to evaluate workers' exposure to lead in industries with the highest exposure. All subjects were interviewed about their occupational and smoking histories, the use of personal protective equipment and personal hygiene. The contribution of a dietary source of lead intake from specified foods known to contain lead locally and personal air sampling for lead were assessed. A total of 61 workers from two PVC compounding and 50 workers from two lead acid battery manufacturing plants were studied together with 111 matched controls. In the PVC compounding plants the mean lead-in-air level was 0.0357 mg/m3, with the highest levels occurring during the pouring and mixing operations. This was lower than the mean lead-in-air level of 0.0886 mg/m3 in the lead battery manufacturing plants where the highest exposure was in the loading of lead ingots into milling machines. Workers in lead battery manufacturing had significantly higher mean blood lead than the PVC workers (means, 32.51 and 23.91 mcg/100 ml respectively), but there was poor correlation with lead-in-air levels. Among the lead workers, the Malays had significantly higher blood lead levels than the Chinese (mean blood levels were 33.03 and 25.35 mcg/100 ml respectively) although there was no significant difference between the two ethnic groups in the control group. There were no significant differences between the exposed and control group in terms of dietary intake of specified local foods known to contain lead. However, Malays consumed significantly more fish than the Chinese did. There were no ethnic differences in the hours of overtime work, number of years of exposure, usage of gloves and respirators and smoking habits. Among the Malays, 94.3% eat with their hands compared with 9.2% of the Chinese. Workers who ate with bare hands at least once a week had higher blood lead levels after adjusting for lead-in-air levels (mean blood lead was 30.2 and 26.4 mcg/100 ml respectively). The study indicated that the higher blood lead levels observed in the Malay workers might have been due to their higher exposure and eating with bare hands.  (+info)

(3/2439) Inhibition by lead of production and secretion of transthyretin in the choroid plexus: its relation to thyroxine transport at blood-CSF barrier.

Long-term, low-dose Pb exposure in rats is associated with a significant decrease in transthyretin (TTR) concentrations in the CSF. Since CSF TTR, a primary carrier of thyroxine in brain, is produced and secreted by the choroid plexus, in vitro studies were conducted to test whether Pb exposure interferes with TTR production and/or secretion by the choroid plexus, leading to an impaired thyroxine transport at the blood-CSF barrier. Newly synthesized TTR molecules in the cultured choroidal epithelial cells were pulse-labeled with [35S]methionine. [35S]TTR in the cell lysates and culture media was immunoprecipitated and separated by SDS-PAGE, and quantitated by autoradiography and liquid scintillation counting. Pb treatment did not significantly alter the protein concentrations in the culture, but inhibited the synthesis of total [35S]TTR (cells + media), particularly during the later chase phase. Two-way ANOVA of the chase phase revealed that Pb exposure (30 microM) significantly suppressed the rate of secretion of [35S]TTR compared to the controls (p < 0.05). Accordingly, Pb treatment caused a retention of [35S]TTR by the cells. In a two-chamber transport system with a monolayer of epithelial barrier, Pb exposure (30 microM) reduced the initial release rate constant (kr) of [125I]T4 from the cell monolayer to the culture media and impeded the transepithelial transport of [125I]T4 from the basal to apical side of epithelial cells by 27%. Taken together, these in vitro data suggest that sequestration of Pb in the choroid plexus hinders the production and secretion of TTR by this tissue. Consequently, this may alter the transport of thyroxine across this blood-CSF barrier.  (+info)

(4/2439) Differences in the actions of some blockers of the calcium-activated potassium permeability in mammalian red cells.

1. The actions of some inhibitors of the Ca2+-activated K+ permeability in mammalian red cells have been compared. 2. Block of the permeability was assessed from the reduction in the net loss of K+ that followed the application of the Ca2+ ionophore A23187 (2 microM) to rabbit red cells suspended at a haematocrit of 1% in a low potassium solution ([K]0 0.12-0.17 mM) at 37 degrees C. Net movement of K+ was measured using a K+-sensitive electrode placed in the suspension. 3. The concentrations (microM +/- s.d.) of the compounds tested causing 50% inhibition of K+ loss were: quinine, 37 +/- 3; cetiedil, 26 +/- 1; the cetiedil congeners UCL 1269, UCL 1274 and UCL 1495, approximately 150, 8.2 +/- 0.1, 0.92 +/- 0.03 respectively; clotrimazole, 1.2 +/- 0.1; nitrendipine, 3.6 +/- 0.5 and charybdotoxin, 0.015 +/- 0.002. 4. The characteristics of the block suggested that compounds could be placed in two groups. For one set (quinine, cetiedil, and the UCL congeners), the concentration-inhibition curves were steeper (Hill coefficient, nH, > or = 2.7) than for the other (clotrimazole, nitrendipine, charybdotoxin) for which nH approximately 1. 5. Compounds in the first set alone became less active on raising the concentration of K+ in the external solution to 5.4 mM. 6. The rate of K+ loss induced by A23187 slowed in the presence of high concentrations of cetiedil and its analogues, suggesting a use-dependent component to the inhibitory action. This was not seen with clotrimazole. 7. The blocking action of the cetiedil analogue UCL 1274 could not be overcome by an increase in external Ca2+ and its potency was unaltered when K+ loss was induced by the application of Pb2+ (10 microM) rather than by A23187. 8. These results, taken with the findings of others, suggest that agents that block the red cell Ca2+-activated K+ permeability can be placed in two groups with different mechanisms of action. The differences can be explained by supposing that clotrimazole and charybdotoxin act at the outer face of the channel whereas cetiedil and its congeners may block within it, either at or near the K+ binding site that determines the flow of K+.  (+info)

(5/2439) Regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in beta cells by environmental factors: heavy metals.

The expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) in pancreatic islet beta cells modulates endocrine cell functions and, at very high levels of NO production causes beta-cell death. We tested the hypothesis that environmental factors such as heavy-metal salts modulate iNOS expression in beta cells. A rat beta-cell line (insulinoma RINm5F) was cultured in the presence of low-dose interleukin (IL)-1beta for suboptimal induction of iNOS. PbCl2 (0. 1-10 microM) dose-dependently increased NO (measured as nitrite) formation (P<0.001). In contrast, HgCl2 suppressed nitrite production (0.1-10 microM, P<0.05). Measurements of iNOS activity by determining citrulline levels confirmed the potentiating effect of PbCl2 (P<0.05). There was a narrow time window of heavy-metal actions, ranging from -24 h (Hg2+) or -3 h (Pb2+) to +2 h, relative to the addition of IL-1beta. By semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR, enhanced levels of iNOS mRNA were found in the presence of Pb2+ (P<0.05) and decreased levels in the presence of Hg2+. The amount of iNOS protein as determined by Western blotting was increased in the presence of Pb2+. We conclude that Pb2+ upregulates and Hg2+ suppresses iNOS gene expression at the level of transcription, probably by acting on the signalling pathway. These observations may have important implications for understanding pathological effects of environmental factors on endocrine organ functions.  (+info)

(6/2439) Peripheral hemodynamics evaluated by acceleration plethysmography in workers exposed to lead.

To clarify the effect of lead exposure on peripheral hemodynamics, acceleration plethysmography (APG) was performed for 48 male subjects occupationally exposed to lead (exposure group) and 43 male subjects with no history of occupational exposure to lead (control group). In the exposure group, the blood lead concentration (Pb-B) was also measured. Each APG parameter was assessed by comparing measured data with the standard aging curves. A significant negative correlation was obtained between the parameter--b/a and Pb-B. The exposure group showed significantly lower values of parameters--b/a (p < 0.01) and d/a (p < 0.05) than the control group. The parameter--b/a in the exposure group dose-dependently decreased with increases in length of working career (duration of exposure to lead) and Pb-B. The parameter--b/a significantly (p < 0.05) decreased in subjects with working careers of 5 years or more and in subjects whose Pb-B was 40 micrograms/100 ml or more. These results suggest that lead exposure affects peripheral hemodynamics as evaluated by APG.  (+info)

(7/2439) Study of the effect of lactational bone loss on blood lead concentrations in humans.

Lactation and other clinical states of high bone turnover have been suggested to release lead (Pb) stored in bone into blood and tissues. Previous observations on the influences of lactation have been anecdotal, or at high blood Pb concentrations with varying past exposures, or complicated by postpartum fluid changes. A prospective observational study was performed to investigate possible changes in blood lead concentrations at multiple intervals during lactation for 6 months postpartum and to relate changes in blood lead concentrations to changes in bone density and other variables. Volunteer pregnant subjects (n = 58) were enrolled from a midwifery service at an academic public health hospital. Subjects were mostly Hispanic, recently immigrated, of low economic status, not receiving supplemental calcium, and had low blood Pb concentrations (2.35 +/- 2.05 microg/dl at enrollment). Bone density losses over 6 months for the group averaged -2.46 +/- 6.33% at the vertebral spine and -0.67 +/- 5.21% at the femoral neck. In predicting final bone density, apart from initial bone density only the total number of breast-feedings was a significant independent variable of the variables tested, accounting for an additional 12% of the variability. No changes in blood Pb concentrations were seen over the interval beyond 2 weeks postpartum (minimum detectable change was 0.4 microg/dl). There was no relation between the changes in bone density and changes in blood Pb or the integrated blood Pb over the 2-week to 6-month period. Normal (nonlactating) bone resorption rates contribute a large fraction of the Pb in blood during low-exposure circumstances. However, during lactation the increase in bone resorptive processes is probably relatively small with a larger decrease in deposition accounting for net bone loss, as suggested by other investigations. Thus, concomitant release of Pb from bones of lactating subjects with low blood lead concentrations on this background of high normal resorption was not large enough for detection.  (+info)

(8/2439) Impact of diet on lead in blood and urine in female adults and relevance to mobilization of lead from bone stores.

We measured high precision lead isotope ratios and lead concentrations in blood, urine, and environmental samples to assess the significance of diet as a contributing factor to blood and urine lead levels in a cohort of 23 migrant women and 5 Australian-born women. We evaluated possible correlations between levels of dietary lead intake and changes observed in blood and urine lead levels and isotopic composition during pregnancy and postpartum. Mean blood lead concentrations for both groups were approximately 3 microg/dl. The concentration of lead in the diet was 5.8 +/- 3 microg Pb/kg [geometric mean (GM) 5.2] and mean daily dietary intake was 8.5 microg/kg/day (GM 7.4), with a range of 2-39 microg/kg/day. Analysis of 6-day duplicate dietary samples for individual subjects commonly showed major spikes in lead concentration and isotopic composition that were not reflected by associated changes in either blood lead concentration or isotopic composition. Changes in blood lead levels and isotopic composition observed during and after pregnancy could not be solely explained by dietary lead. These data are consistent with earlier conclusions that, in cases where levels of environmental lead exposure and dietary lead intake are low, skeletal contribution is the dominant contributor to blood lead, especially during pregnancy and postpartum.  (+info)