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ABSORPTION OF LEAD THROUGH SKIN

Adelaide Ross Smith, M.D.
JAMA. 1932;99(24):2050. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740760060028.
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ABSTRACT

To the Editor:  —One frequently encounters statements to the effect that lead is not absorbed through the skin. In Queries and Minor Notes (The Journal, June 28, 1930, p. 2086) it was stated, "Lead, however, is not absorbed through the skin, except in the form of substances as tetra-ethyl lead."It is well known that the skin is the least frequent and least likely route of absorption, but it is not true that lead is never absorbed through the skin, in proof of which I submit the following history of a case of lead poisoning which I had occasion to see:A school teacher, aged 48, complained of pain, weakness and tingling in his left forearm. He had had no known exposure to lead, but about three months prior to the development of these symptoms he had begun the use of a hair dye. The dye was applied with the

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