Lead (Pb) poisoning is one of the most common and preventable environmental health problems. There are different sources of environmental pollution with lead as lead alkyl additives in petrol and manufacturing processes. Pb in the atmosphere can be deposited in urban soils, and may then be re-suspended to re-enter the atmosphere. This could increase human exposure to Pb and cause long-term health effects. Thus, monitoring Pb pollution is considered one of the major tasks in controlling pollution. Scalp hair can be utilized for the determination of lead (Pb) concentration. It provides a lasting record of metal intakes of weeks or even months, and for most metals, their accumulation in hair reflects their accumulation in the whole body. This work was conducted to investigate the concentration of lead in male scalp hair of Cairo (residential-traffic and residential-industrial) and rural residents after twenty years of phasing out of leaded gasoline. Results indicated that the mean concentration of lead in hair of residential-traffic (9.7552 μg/g ±0.71) and residential-industrial (12.3288 μg/g ±1.13) was significantly higher than that in rural residents (4.7327 μg/g ±0.67). The mean concentration of lead in hair of resident’s industrial areas was the highest among Cairo residents and not the traffic areas as it was before phasing out of leaded gasoline. Twenty years of phasing out of leaded gasoline in Cairo has greatly improved the lead pollution among residents of traffic areas, but industrial areas residents were still suffering from lead pollution, which needs more efforts to control the sources of lead pollution.
Lead being a toxic heavy metal that mankind is exposed to the highest levels of this metal from environmental pollutants. A total of 180 Male scalp hair samples were collected from different environments in Greater Cairo (GC), i.e. industrial, heavy traffic and rural areas (60 samples from each) having different activities during the period of, 1/5/2010 to 1/11/2012. Hair samples were collected during five stages. Data proved that the concentration of lead in male industrial areas of Cairo ranged between 6.2847 to 19.0432 μg/g, with mean value of 12.3288 μg/g. On the other hand, lead content of hair samples of residential-traffic areas ranged between 2.8634 to 16.3311 μg/g with mean value of 9.7552 μg/g. While lead concentration on the hair of the male residents living in rural area ranged between 1.0499-9.0402μg/g with mean value of 4.7327 μg/g. The Pb concentration in scalp hair of Cairo residents of residential-traffic and rural traffic areas was observed to follow the same pattern. The pattern was that of decrease concentration of summer and its increase in winter. Then, there was a marked increase in Pb concentration of summer 2012, and this increase was significant. These were obviously seen for the residential-traffic and rural areas residents. Pb pollution in residents of industrial areas showed the same seasonal pattern, but there was marked to decrease in Pb concentration of summer 2012, and this decrease was significant. Lead pollution in residents of GC was serious. It is worth noting that the atmosphere is still contaminated by lead despite a decade of using unleaded gasoline. Strong seasonal variation in higher Pb concentration on winter than in summer was found. Major contributions to the pollution with Pb could include industry emissions, motor vehicle emissions and long transported dust from outside Cairo. More attention should be paid to the reduction of Pb content of the urban aerosol and to the Pb pollution health.
Lead is among the heavy metals and it is one of the highly toxic metals, recognized in most countries. This metal accumulates in animal organs as liver and kidney. The present investigation provides the concentrations of lead in cow's meat and different animal organs collected from three Egyptian environments. The results revealed that lead levels in muscle, liver, kidney, spleen and heart in industrial areas were higher than those detected in the same organs of other two areas (heavy traffic and rural), which recorded mean values of 3.0091, 1.7070, 1.8609, 0.6401 and 0.5332 mg/kg, respectively, followed by traffic areas, 2.9166, 1.4443, 1.6967, 0.4042 and 0.4103 mg/kg, respectively. The corresponding values of rural areas were 1.8895, 0.9550, 0.9117, 0.3215 and 0.2856 mg/kg, in the same order. It could be recommended that monitoring and evaluation of lead levels in meat at regular intervals are very important.