Lead exposure: Assessment of effects on the genetic material

María Sánchez-Flores, Blanca Laffon, Julia García-Lestón, Josefina Méndez, Eduardo Pásaro, Vanessa Valdiglesias

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Lead is a heavy metal used since ancient times in domestic tools, ammunitions, ornaments, statuettes, pigments and cosmetics, and is still employed for several industrial purposes due to its suitable physical and chemical properties. Lead is non-biodegradable and is very persistent in the environment; despite the progressive reduction in its applications, it is a common environmental and occupational contaminant widely distributed around the world. Human exposure to lead can result in a wide range of biological effects. Toxicity of lead has been extensively studied;adverse health effects caused by this metal include neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, and deleterious effects on the hematological and cardiovascular systems. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified lead as possible human carcinogen (group 2B) and inorganic lead compounds as probable human carcinogens (group 2A); nevertheless, there is still controversy regarding its mutagenic, clastogenic and carcinogenic properties. This chapter reviews works collected so far in the international literature dealing with effects of lead on the genetic material. Studies including different genotoxicity parameters and experimental designs (in vitro, in vivo, human epidemiological) are covered.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLead Exposure and Poisoning: Clinical Symptoms, Medical Management and Preventive Strategies
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages40
ISBN (Print)9781634827522, 9781634826990
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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