The limitation in the use of lead in Spanish gasoline has induced a resulting decrease in atmospheric lead concentrations, a remarkable reduction in the lead levels of edible vegetables, as well as a marked decrease in the dietary lead intake of the population of Tarragona Province (Catalonia, N.E. Spain). The present study evaluates the impact of such decreases on blood lead values and hair lead concentrations in an adult and children population of that region. A total of 250 adult participants between 16–65 years of age and 252 children were included in the study. Blood and hair samples were subjected to lead analyses by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry and inductively coupled plasma spectrometry, respectively. A substantial decline in both, blood lead levels in adults (47.5%) and lead concentrations in children's hair (53%) was observed. During the period 1990–1995, blood lead levels were reduced from 12.0 μg dl −1 to 6.3 μg dl −1 , while the hair lead concentrations decreased from 8.8 μg g −1 to 4.1 μg g −1 . These decreases were noted for all the subgroups (sex, age and place of residence) examined, and were mainly attributable to the reduced leaded gasoline consumption.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: May 31, 1996
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