Lead in bone: Storage site, exposure source, and target organ

E. K. Silbergeld, J. Sauk, M. Somerman, A. Todd, F. McNeill, B. Fowler, A. Fontaine, J. Van Buren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


The primary site of lead storage is in bone but relatively little attention has focused on this physiological compartment. Recent advances in measurement technology now permit the direct in vivo quantitative measurement of lead in bone, and this measure has great use in clinical and epidemiologic studies. Lead in bone is not a physiological sink, but can be mobilized back into the circulation in response to normal or pathological changes in mineral metabolism. Bone lead may be a significant source of target organ exposure under certain conditions, such as pregnancy, kidney disease, and menopause. Finally, the accumulation of lead in bone cells may have toxic consequences for bone status, and some of the mechanisms by which lead could affect bone mineral metabolism may also play a role in other target organ effects of lead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages12
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone Lead
  • Lead
  • Lead Toxicity
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Storage Site of Lead

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology


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