Influence of abatement of lead exposure in Croatia on blood lead and ALAD activity.
Considering its well-know toxicity and the chronic human exposure to lead, international law-makers enforced some directives or laws calling for the reduction of lead content of gasoline. All of these legislative acts aimed to reduce health risks for the general population. The aim of this study was to consider the effectiveness of these laws on air lead levels and consequently on blood lead levels in a randomly selected urban Italian population. In particular, these markers were analyzed over the course of several years, corresponding to the periods just before and after enforcements of the reductions of lead in petrol. Data presented point out some considerations: (1) enforcement of legislative measures concerning the reduction of lead in petrol has reduced atmospheric levels of lead. This result demonstrates a major environmental success in primary prevention efforts. (2) This success is clear especially considering that the actual Pb-B levels can be extended to the urbanized populations. Pb-B levels were consistently higher for drinkers, for older adults, and for males. The mean of Pb-B level for the present urbanized population is higher than the U.S. overall population (6.4 vs 3 microgram/dl). This difference can be also explained considering the different historical period of enforcement of the restriction laws.