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Organic lead in normal human brains

Nature volume 274, pages 602603 (10 August 1978) | Download Citation

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Abstract

LEAD-CONTAINING organic compounds such as tetraethyl and tetramethyl lead have been used for over 50 years as anti-knock additives to petrol. The occupational hazards associated with their production and use are well documented, but no adverse effects of environmental pollution by organolead compounds have yet been demonstrated. Here we present an analysis of 22 human brains which shows that a significant part of the lead content may be organolead. The highest concentrations (median, 2 × 10−7 mol per kg) were present in individuals residing in the lower floors of buildings in the city.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of General and Organic Chemistry, H.C. Ørsted Institute, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

    • T. NIELSEN
    •  & K. A. JENSEN
  2. Institute of Hygiene, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

    • P. GRANDJEAN
  3. Present address: Department of Chemistry, Risø National Laboratory, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark.

    • T. NIELSEN
  4. Present address: Environmental Sciences Laboratory, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, New York 10029.

    • P. GRANDJEAN

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/274602a0

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