Pilot study of sources of lead exposure in Moscow, Russia

Anna O. Orlova, Desmond I. Bannon, Mark R. Farfel, Valerie M. Thomas, Lev V. Aleschukin, Valery V. Kudashov, James P. Shines, Georgy I. Kruchkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This preliminary investigation of sources of lead exposure in Moscow, Russia, by Russian and US collaborators measured lead in paint, interior dust, and drinking water in seven day-care centres, and in petrol, soil and canned food. Some paint samples exceeded US regulatory standards for lead in paint on surfaces (0.5%). Dust lead loadings were <1.7 μg cm-2 and below the guidance levels of the US EPA. Drinking water lead concentrations were at or below the US drinking water standard of 15 μg L-1. Lead concentrations in petrol from Moscow vehicles and petrol stations were consistent with a regulation banning the sale of leaded petrol within the Moscow City limits. Except for baby food, lead levels were higher in the Russian canned foods (range 6 to 1240 μg kg-1, dry weight) compared to corresponding US canned foods, with ratios of Russian to US levels of up to 120:1 for evaporated milk. Lead concentrations in soil generally ranged from 500 to 2000 μg g-1, levels that would trigger hazard reduction measures according to US EPA guidance. These findings, together with the use of lead in petrol outside Moscow, indicate multiple sources of lead exposure in Russia. Priorities for future research are discussed including the establishment of interlaboratory quality control programmes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-210
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • analysis
  • exposure
  • Lead
  • methodology
  • Russia
  • sampling
  • sources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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