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Lead exposure in adult males in urban Transvaal Province, South Africa during the Apartheid era

Lead exposure in adult males in urban Transvaal Province, South Africa during the Apartheid era
Lead exposure in adult males in urban Transvaal Province, South Africa during the Apartheid era
Human exposure to lead is a substantial public health hazard worldwide and is particularly problematic in the Republic of South Africa given the country’s late cessation of leaded petrol. Lead exposure is associated with a number of serious health issues and diseases including developmental and cognitive deficiency, hypertension and heart disease. Understanding the distribution of lifetime lead burden within a given population is critical for reducing exposure rates. Femoral bone from 101 deceased adult males living in urban Transvaal Province (now Gauteng Province), South Africa between 1960 and 1998 were analyzed for lead concentration by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). Of the 72 black and 29 white individuals sampled, chronic lead exposure was apparent in nearly all individuals. White males showed significantly higher median bone lead concentration (ME = 10.04 µg·g?1), than black males (ME = 3.80 µg·g?1) despite higher socioeconomic status. Bone lead concentration covaries significantly, though weakly, with individual age. There was no significant temporal trend in bone lead concentration. These results indicate that long-term low to moderate lead exposure is the historical norm among South African males. Unexpectedly, this research indicates that white males in the sample population were more highly exposed to lead.
1932-6203
1-7
Hess, Catherine A.
702e7564-ddcc-4b0f-9c41-ac8e75c5def4
Cooper, Matthew J.
54f7bff0-1f8c-4835-8358-71eef8529e7a
Smith, Martin J.
76c5e469-c14c-4f12-b05d-29b05023d679
Trueman, Clive N.
d00d3bd6-a47b-4d47-89ae-841c3d506205
Schutkowski, Holger
0f92fc81-dfdd-467c-8c2d-23b690f0e9ef
Hess, Catherine A.
702e7564-ddcc-4b0f-9c41-ac8e75c5def4
Cooper, Matthew J.
54f7bff0-1f8c-4835-8358-71eef8529e7a
Smith, Martin J.
76c5e469-c14c-4f12-b05d-29b05023d679
Trueman, Clive N.
d00d3bd6-a47b-4d47-89ae-841c3d506205
Schutkowski, Holger
0f92fc81-dfdd-467c-8c2d-23b690f0e9ef

Hess, Catherine A., Cooper, Matthew J., Smith, Martin J., Trueman, Clive N. and Schutkowski, Holger (2013) Lead exposure in adult males in urban Transvaal Province, South Africa during the Apartheid era. PLoS ONE, 8 (3), 1-7, [e58146]. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058146).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Human exposure to lead is a substantial public health hazard worldwide and is particularly problematic in the Republic of South Africa given the country’s late cessation of leaded petrol. Lead exposure is associated with a number of serious health issues and diseases including developmental and cognitive deficiency, hypertension and heart disease. Understanding the distribution of lifetime lead burden within a given population is critical for reducing exposure rates. Femoral bone from 101 deceased adult males living in urban Transvaal Province (now Gauteng Province), South Africa between 1960 and 1998 were analyzed for lead concentration by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). Of the 72 black and 29 white individuals sampled, chronic lead exposure was apparent in nearly all individuals. White males showed significantly higher median bone lead concentration (ME = 10.04 µg·g?1), than black males (ME = 3.80 µg·g?1) despite higher socioeconomic status. Bone lead concentration covaries significantly, though weakly, with individual age. There was no significant temporal trend in bone lead concentration. These results indicate that long-term low to moderate lead exposure is the historical norm among South African males. Unexpectedly, this research indicates that white males in the sample population were more highly exposed to lead.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 January 2013
Published date: 7 March 2013
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 352416
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/352416
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: 2b483600-fe3d-4bec-9396-a39cdf28679e
ORCID for Matthew J. Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2130-2759

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Jan 2017 13:49
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:06

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Contributors

Author: Catherine A. Hess
Author: Martin J. Smith
Author: Holger Schutkowski

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