AIR POLLUTION AND ITS EFFECTS ON HEALTH: HEAVY METALS AND HYDROCARBONS

In Finland, the mean concentration of lead in clean air (a rural area) was 0.025 micrograms/cu M, in central Helsinki 1.3 micrograms/cu M, in a suburban housing area 1.0 micrograms/cu M, and in an industrial area 2.1 micrograms/cu M. The mean blood lead levels of groups of men living in the rural and urban areas varied from 11.4 to 13.2 micrograms/100 ml blood, and of women from 8.5 to 10.7 micrograms/100 ml, independent of the lead concentration in air. In an area having lead emitted by industry, the mean blood levels of lead in the inhabitants were 18.1 micrograms/100 ml blood for men and 14.3 micrograms/100 ml for women. In various occupations involving exposure to lead, the mean blood lead varied from less than 20 to more than 80 micrograms/100 ml blood the activity of erythrocyte aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ala-d) is suppressed by lead in blood at all levels. Slowing of nerve conduction may be observed in subjects occupationally exposed when their blood lead lies in the range from 40 to 70 micrograms/100 ml. Increased cadmium levels have been found in dust precipitating around some cellulose factories. Mercury from industrial emitters enters water, partly directly, partly via the air. No untoward effects on health have been observed among people habitually eating fish contaminated with methyl mercury at the 1972-73 levels in lakes and rivers. Present levels of some polycyclic hydrocarbons in air at various locations are reported. (a) /TRRL/

  • Corporate Authors:

    International Atomic Energy Agency

    Vienna International Centre, P.O. Box 100
    Vienna A-1400,   Austria 
  • Authors:
    • Karvonen, M J
  • Publication Date: 1974

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 65-74

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00137671
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Monograph
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 9 1977 12:00AM