Toxicology of lead and its damage to mammalian organs

Samuel Caito, Ana Carolina B. Almeida Lopes, Monica M.B. Paoliello, Michael Aschner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


The toxicity of lead has been appreciated for centuries. Lead is a commonly used metal in industrialized nations, which results in the release of lead into the environment. Governmental agencies regulate the amount of lead permissible for workers to be exposed to; however, unregulated environmental lead exposure is a high concern. While essential metals have physiologic roles, there are no health benefits from lead intake. In this chapter, we discuss sources of lead exposure, the absorption, distribution, and elimination of lead from the human body, and molecular mechanisms of lead-induced toxicity. We also discuss the evidence on the association between lead exposure and blood pressure, and the influence of sociodemographic, lifestyle and environmental determinants of lead exposure in the general population. We highlight the effects on the nervous system, kidney, immune system, blood, reproductive system, and bones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLead
Subtitle of host publicationIts Effects on Environment and Health
PublisherWalter de Gruyter GmbH
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9783110434330
ISBN (Print)9783110441079
StatePublished - Apr 10 2017


  • Anemia
  • Bone
  • Hypertension
  • Lead
  • Neurotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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