Toxicology Assessment for Lead
|1.0.||Basic information about lead|
|1.1.||Lead names in different languages|
|2.0.||Use of lead|
|3.0.||Exposure routes of lead|
|4.0.||Toxic effects on humans|
|4.3.||Male Reproductive Effects|
|4.5.||The genotoxicity of lead|
|5.0.||Fate in the environment|
|5.1.||Effects of lead on soil|
|5.2.||Effects of lead on plants|
3.0 Exposure routes of lead
The main sources of lead entering an ecosystem are atmospheric lead (primarily from automobile emissions), paint chips, used ammunition, fertilisers and pesticides and lead-acid batteries or other industrial products. The transport and distribution of lead from major emission sources, both fixed and mobile, are mainly through air (UNEP 1991). While most of the lead discharged into air falls out near the source, about 20 percent is widely dispersed. Studies have demonstrated that measurements of lead in Greenland rose and fell with the rise and decline of use of alkyl-leaded petrol in the United States Eurasia and Canada over the past century (Roseman et al 1993). The size of the lead particles will govern how far they move from the source.
Not only leaded gasoline causes lead concentrations in the environment to rise. Other human activities, such as fuel combustion, industrial processes and solid waste combustion, also contribute.
Lead can end up in water and soils through corrosion of leaded pipelines in a water transporting system and through corrosion of leaded paints. It cannot be broken down; it can only converted to other forms.
Lead accumulates in the bodies of water organisms and soil organisms. These will experience health effects from lead poisoning. Health effects on shellfish can take place even when only very small concentrations of lead are present. Body functions of phytoplankton can be disturbed when lead interferes. Phytoplankton is an important source of oxygen production in seas and many larger sea-animals eat it. That is why we now begin to wonder whether lead pollution can influence global balances.
Soil functions are disturbed by lead intervention, especially near highways and farmlands, where extreme concentrations may be present. Soil organisms than suffer from lead poisoning, too.
Lead is a particularly dangerous chemical, as it can accumulate in individual organisms, but also in entire food chains.For more effects on freshwater ecosystem take a look at lead in freshwater.
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