The Effects Of Lead In The Body

One of the qualities of lead that make it one of the most highly studied heavy metals is its ability to enter and distributes into the body’s organ systems. Inorganic lead is absorbed by coming into contact with the skin, ingestion, and inhalation.* It is debated whether ingestion of lead or inhalation of lead caused the most significant damage and which one occurs more frequently. The physiological effects of lead can be seen soon after exposure. The uptake of lead in the body is influenced by many factors including presence or absence of other metals in the body. It has been suggested that the progression of lead toxicity in the body is due to its ability to be substitute itself in place of other divalent cations disrupting the function of …show more content…
Children are more susceptible to the effects of lead, in part, because children ingest 50% of lead from the environment and also due to the differences in metabolism and pharmacokinetics compared to adults.**** Lead and other heavy metals accumulate in by microbial flora through the environment and as a result, end up being a mode of transport into the human system.7* From the food we consume and other human activities that disturb the natural lead in the earth’s crust, human actions facilitate the pollution by the deadly compound. Children have the most absorption of lead through the gastrointestinal tract and a smaller percentage of dense bone mass. Therefore the lead absorbed through the intestinal tract accumulates in soft tissues rather than bone tissue making them more prone to toxic effects of ingestion of lead. Pregnant women are also at risk of exposing the fetus to ingested lead as it can pass easily through the placenta. The effects of lead exposure to a developing fetus is sometimes not observed until later developmental stages. As previously mentioned, leads mechanism of toxicity is heavily reliant on its ability to cause oxidative stress in the body. It does this by binding to Glutathione which is used to facilitate elimination of reactive oxygen species from the body. …show more content…
It was also observed that lead exposure can trigger caspase-3*5, a protease that is highly reserved across mammalian species and is associated with programmed cell death. it is also a factor in the release of cytochrome C in the mitochondrial pathway*5. At Low concentrations lead has been shown to activate cellular growth mechanisms. In theory lead mobilizes free calcium ions and activates protein kinase C. This movement triggers a cascading event leading to the end product of DNA synthesis. In animal models, lead has been shown to increase cell proliferation at low cytotoxic concentrations adding to leads carcinogenicity.9* A diagram of Major mechanisms of metal induced carcinogenicity is outlined below 9*
Proposed mechanisms leading to the carcinogenity of metal compounds including lead.
Lead exposure has a pronounced effect on the central nervous

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