Sources of Lead and Its Mobility in the Human Body Inferred from Lead Isotopes

  • Brian L. Gulson
Part of the Advances in Isotope Geochemistry book series (ADISOTOPE)


Compared with studies applying the lead isotope method to environmental questions, those involving humans (and animals) are small in number. This brief review outlines some of the applications of the method, especially to those focussed on pregnancy, a time during which increased bone turnover associated with calcium requirements results in release of lead from the maternal skeleton and the lead can also be transferred to the infant. Thus, sources of lead to blood can be considered as external (environmental) and internal (skeletal).


Isotopic Composition Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry Source Apportionment Australian Subject Maternal Skeleton 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I dedicate this paper to Kathryn Mahaffey who unfortunately passed away in 2009. She initiated and provided guidance in the Biokinetics of Lead in Human Pregnancy study and was a great friend to a novice in the toxicology field. There are too many people to thank individually who have contributed to our Pb isotope investigations over the years but mention has to be made of Karen Mizon for a superb role in recruitment and retention of cohorts from several studies, and Michael Korsch for maintaining the mass spectrometers in peak condition and feedback; Tony McMichael who began the Biokinetics study and went to greener pastures but which forced me to change fields, something I have never regretted; participants in the studies; Massimo Chiaradia, Matt James, Alistair Law, Karen Mizon, Jacquie Palmer, Nicole Patison and Monserrat Vidal for technical assistance and running some of the projects; Mary Salter for phlebotomy; financial support from NIEHS through NO1-ES-05292 and for various expert peer review panels; NSW EPA for financial assistance; Bill Jameson, Jim Fouts, Beth Ragan, and Bob Goyer from NIEHS for continued support and consultation over the years of the study; and Paul Mushak provided ongoing guidance, encouragement and constructive criticism.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian L. Gulson
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of the EnvironmentMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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