Blood lead (PbB) concentrations were measured and the smoking history was taken from 355 men representing the general population and 2209 men occupationally exposed to lead. No association between smoking and PbB could be demonstrated in the men from the general population, but a dose-response relationship was found between the amount of smoking and the PbB concentrations of men occupationally exposed to lead. Smokers had statistically significantly higher PbB levels than nonsmokers. This result can probably be attributed to the contamination of fingers and cigarettes in the lead-exposed workplaces rather than to the small amount of lead contained in the cigarettes. The deleterious effect of smoking upon the lung clearance mechanism can also be a contributing factor. © 1977.
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