During the 20 th century, occupational and environmental exposure to lead was among the main relevant issues studied by occupational physicians, hygienists, and public health administrators. During the different decades there was a progressive reduction in exposure levels and in the mean time a progressive reduction in the severity of clinical symptoms due to very high exposure to this metal. During the first forty years of the 20 th century, a clear decrease in the frequency of encephalopathy and paralysis of the radial nerve was observed while abdominal colics and anaemia where frequently observed until the sixties. In the first part of the seventies, there was a clear change in the preventive approach to lead poisoning both in the field of research and in the clinical-preventive and legal field. These successful results where obtained despite the disagreement of outstanding physicians and international renewed researchers and industrial associations. Every successful battle allowed a great improvement in the field of occupational and environmental prevention, but the above-mentioned disagreements caused a great delay in the solution of the problem and did not improve workers', children's and teenagers' health. In Italy, there was a very deep interest in the prevention of lead poisoning which led to very good results in a relatively short period even though the current laws did not help and also nowadays do not help the occupational professionals studying and dealing with occupational health. Lead undoubtly represents one of the most largely studied environmental industrial toxics and shows a model, also suitable for other matters involving exposure to different industrial toxics. Nevertheless, there are still problems in the understanding of some pathogenetic aspects of lead and in the significance of some of its early effects which deserve further studies. These matters, strictly linked to low-dose exposure, still present numerous questions. For example, there should be a deep interest in the standardization of its internal dose indicators, in the study the role of the metal in the pathogenesis of cardiological and nephrological diseases, in the characterization of its genetic polymorphisms and in the assessment of its carcinogenicity. A lot of these issues, already examined in old studies concerning casistics of workers affected by lead poisoning, have been analyzed in the multidisciplinary study "Progetto MIUR Piombo" (Project on lead by the Italian Ministry of University and Research) conducted by six different Institutes of Occupational Health (Cagliari, Parma, Perugia, Bari, Ancona and Brescia) which will report their results during this Congress. © PI-ME, Pavia 2005.
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|Titolo:||Dalla colica saturnina al rischio moderato|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2005|
|Tipologia:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|