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Description of key information

Short description of key information on bioaccumulation potential result: 
Several studies are used as a weight of evidence approach to indicate that TEL distributes quickly through the body rapidly converting enzymically by the liver to TriEL and inorganic lead and causes damage to all major organs, in particular the liver, kidney and brain.
TEL is highly volatile and readily dissolvable in lipids. It is therefore easily inhaled and rapidly absorbed through the skin. Its elimination through faeces and urine is slow. It is metabolised in the liver to triethyllead (TriEL). TEL reaches its highest concentration in the liver followed by the kidney and brain affecting both central nervous and peripheral transmitters, myelin synthesis and metabolism.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Bioaccumulation potential:
low bioaccumulation potential

Additional information

TEL is highly volatile and is therefore easily inhaled. It is readily dissolvable in lipids. and rapidly absorbed through the skin (Kehoe 1976). Its elimination through faeces and urine is slow. It is metabolised in the liver to triethyllead (TriEL). TEL reaches its highest concentration in the liver followed by the kidney and brain affecting both central nervous and peripheral transmitters, myelin synthesis and metabolism. (Arai et al 1983)

After absorption, TEL is distributed rapidly in the blood through the body. The half life in the blood is 13 seconds. The maximum concentration is reached in the blood and liver after 1 -3 hours. In the kidney about 11% of the exposure dose accumulates within 20 hours. After i.p administration, maximium tissue levels in the whole animal of TEL in the form of TriEL were measured after 5 days in rats (Hayakawa 1972a).

After intravenous administration of TEL , inorganic lead is almost the only excreted product present in the faeces. More than 2/3 of the dose is eliminated this way with the balance in urine. After 24 hours, 12% of the total lead is present in faeces; 90% in the form of inorganic lead (Arai et al 1983).