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Lead loading of urban streets by motor vehicle wheel weights.
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MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11049812     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This study documents that lead weights, which are used to balance motor vehicle wheels, are lost and deposited in urban streets, that they accumulate along the outer curb, and that they are rapidly abraded and ground into tiny pieces by vehicle traffic. The lead is so soft that half the lead deposited in the street is no longer visible after little more than 1 week. This lead loading of urban streets by motor vehicle wheel weights is continuous, significant, and widespread, and is potentially a major source of human lead exposure because the lead is concentrated along the outer curb where pedestrians are likely to step. Lead deposition at one intersection in Albuquerque, New Mexico, ranged from 50 to 70 kg/km/year (almost 11 g/ft(2)/year along the outer curb), a mass loading rate that, if accumulated for a year, would exceed federal lead hazard guidelines more than 10,000 times. Lead loading of major Albuquerque thoroughfares is estimated to be 3,730 kg/year. Wheel weight lead may be dispersed as fugitive dust, flushed periodically by storm water into nearby waterways and aquatic ecosystems, or may adhere to the shoes of pedestrians or the feet of pets, where it can be tracked into the home. I propose that lead from wheel weights contributes to the lead burden of urban populations.
R A Root
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental health perspectives     Volume:  108     ISSN:  0091-6765     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Health Perspect.     Publication Date:  2000 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-11-20     Completed Date:  2000-12-22     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0330411     Medline TA:  Environ Health Perspect     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  937-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Environmental Monitoring
Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects,  pharmacokinetics*
Lead / adverse effects,  pharmacokinetics*
Lead Poisoning / etiology
Motor Vehicles*
Public Health
Urban Population
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Dust; 0/Environmental Pollutants; 7439-92-1/Lead

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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Journal Information
Journal ID (nlm-ta): Environ Health Perspect
ISSN: 0091-6765
Article Information
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Print publication date: Month: 10 Year: 2000
Volume: 108 Issue: 10
First Page: 937 Last Page: 940
ID: 1240125
PubMed Id: 11049812
Publisher Item Identifier: sc271_5_1835

Lead loading of urban streets by motor vehicle wheel weights.
R A Root

Article Categories:
  • Research Article

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