Postgrad Med J 51:805-809 doi:10.1136/pgmj.51.601.805
  • Lead Symposium
    • Session II

Absorption of different lead compounds


A rapid method for the determination of relative absorption of dietary lead by rats is described. The influence of age, weight and dose rate has been determined and using standard conditions the tissue lead content of blood, kidney and femur are significantly correlated with each other and are a function of ingested lead. Eight lead compounds were evaluated using this technique and the findings related to lead acetate as a reference compound. Of the inorganic preparations studied, lead carbonate (basic) and metallic lead showed a twelve-fold difference in absorption, with the remaining compounds giving intermediate values. The absorption of lead from four organic compounds was determined from diets containing 7·5% corn oil added to the standard diet. Lead tallate was absorbed to the same degree as lead acetate, but lesser absorptions resulted from lead octoate, naphthenate and alsynate. The addition of corn oil to a final concentration of 7·5% of the diet enhanced the absorption of lead acetate.