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EC number: 235-252-2
CAS number: 12141-20-7
Eight adult male subjects fasted overnight and then ingested lead
chloride (with 203Pb) with no minerals and with 200 mg calcium and 140
mg phosphorus. Two of the eight also ingested lead chloride with 20 mg
calcium and 14 mg phosphorus, and four subjects ingested lead chloride
with calcium only and with phosphorus only. Subjects fasted for 6 hours
after dosing. Lead was administered with 100 ug Pb carrier in 50 ml
distilled water. Further drinks of distilled water containing calcium
carbonate as a fine suspension and sodium phosphate in solution were
taken immediately afterwards. Uptake in the gut was measured via
activity of 203Pb remaining in the body five to seven days after
ingestion (measured using external gamma ray counters) and also by
taking venous blood samples 24 hours after ingestion. There was a
consistent decrease in uptake from about 60% with no added calcium and
phosphorus to about 10% when 200 mg calcium and 140 mg phosphorus were
added. In the four subjects who ingested lead with either calcium or
phosphorus, lead uptake was reduced by a factor of 1.3 or 1.2 with
addition of calcium or phosphorus, respectively. Both calcium and
phosphorus together decreased lead uptake by a factor of 6.
In a second experiment, a lamb was injected with lead chloride (with
203Pb) and six days later, the liver and kidney were cooked and served
in meals including bread, peas, yogurt, and cheese to six subjects.
Percentage uptake of 203Pb was measured as above. These same subjects,
on another occasion, drank lead chloride in solution while eating
similar meals including purchased, untreated liver or kidney. There was
no difference in the mean percentage uptake of 203Pb between subjects
who ate liver or kidneys of the treated lamb and subjects who drank a
lead solution during a meal of untreated kidney or lamb.
The authors concluded that lead in water and other drinks taken without
food is likely to contribute proportionally more to uptake than lead in
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