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Disease Markers
Volume 2014, Article ID 415160, 7 pages
Review Article

Lead Exposure: A Summary of Global Studies and the Need for New Studies from Saudi Arabia

1College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Received 27 May 2014; Accepted 16 July 2014; Published 19 August 2014

Academic Editor: Marco E. M. Peluso

Copyright © 2014 A. P. Shaik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lead poisoning (plumbism) can cause irreversible genetic and reproductive toxicity, hematological effects, neurological damage, and cardiovascular effects. Despite many efforts to minimize lead poisoning, it continues to be a major health concern in many developing and developed countries. Despite efforts to control lead exposure and toxicity, serious cases of lead poisoning increasingly occur as a result of higher vehicular traffic and industrialization. The biomarkers for identification of genetic susceptibility to a particular disease are useful to identify individuals who are at risk for lead poisoning. Although many such studies have been taken up elsewhere, very few studies were performed in Saudi Arabia to assess susceptibility to lead poisoning. This indicates an urgent need for testing of susceptible individuals. The present paper was planned to understand the genetic susceptibility to lead toxicity in the various population studies conducted worldwide and also to correlate it with the current scenario in Saudi Arabia. Such studies are necessary for appropriate precautions in terms of diet and avoiding exposure to be used in order to prevent adverse health effects.