January 1975

Sub-Clinical Lead Poisoning

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Westside Health Services University of Rochester 260 Crittenden Blvd Rochester, NY 14642


by H. A. Waldron and D. Stöfen, 160 pp, with illus, $14.25, Academic Press Inc, 1974.

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(1):142-143. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120380110038

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The title of the book, Sub-Clinical Lead Poisoning, is a misnomer. One would suspect, given the current interest in the question of low to intermediate blood lead levels, that this work is directed to this issue. In fact, it is not. The book is a mini text on the subject of lead poisoning in general. The chapter headings would explain what is meant: "Lead in the Environment," "Lead Metabolism," "Pathological Effects of Lead," "Sub-Clinical Effects," "Diagnosis," and "Prophylaxis and Treatment."

The chapter entitled "Sub-Clinical Effects" does indeed get into the area of subclinical lead poisoning. The chapter reports severe psychiatric disturbances in persons handling leaded petrol in confined spaces, and possible effects on mental health and even criminal behavior. In this connection, there are epidemiological data cited regarding the increased number of first admissions to mental hospitals, particularly among the young. The implication is that this may be due

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