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July 25, 1936

Current Comment

JAMA. 1936;107(4):286. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770300040015

LEAD IN HUMAN BONES  Much has been written1 of the ways by which lead may enter the body, its relatively transitory occupation of soft tissue areas, and its final storage in the skeleton, to which, after only a few days, a large part of the absorbed unexcreted lead gradually migrates. The lacelike trabecular structure has been credited as the special bony tissue which holds lead and may release it under the influence of certain biochemical conditions induced within the living organism through medication or by certain pathologic states. The mean daily intake of lead derived from ordinary food may reach 0.25 mg., an amount, however, no greater than that readily excreted by the body; hence, after a "substantial constant concentration of lead" in the tissues has been reached, a further accumulation is normally avoided.2 Apparently it may take many years to arrive at such a steady state between