The study of age influence on human bone lead metabolism by using a simplified model and X-ray fluorescence data
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Long term lead metabolism in the human body has never been fully understood due to the lack of human data in this area. The technological improvement of bone lead measurement systems has made bone lead data of substantial populations available. In this study, a set of X-ray fluorescence bone lead data was used to test Leggett's lead metabolism model (R. W. Leggett, Environ. Health Perspect., 1993a, 101, 598-616), especially the model of metabolism in bone. The data set includes the bone lead concentration of 539 occupationally exposed workers, of whom 327 were measured twice in five years. The bone lead concentrations of both cortical bone (tibia) and trabecular bone (calcaneus) were obtained by Cd-109 gamma-ray induced XRF measurement. The histories of blood lead concentration for these workers were used to regulate the input file of the model. The results show that the bone lead concentrations predicted by Leggett's model greatly underestimate the measured values, especially for older workers. This data set was then organized into five age groups. A new simplified model was applied to estimate the lead transfer rates between blood and lead compartments for these age groups. The original transfer rates and the new transfer rates are compared, and the differences are discussed. When the transfer rates derived from measured bone lead data were put into the input file of the model to replace the existing parameters, the predicted values were much closer to the measured values for both cortical bone and trabecular bone.