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EC number: 235-727-4
CAS number: 12626-81-2
of lead acetate by drinking water (oral exposure) to males and females
rats showed a decrease in body weight, testicular weight, testicular
ascorbic acid and seminiferous tubule diameter. The reproductive NOAEL
and systemic LOAEL from this study were both 0.25 g/L.
another study, after an exposure to 0.5 lead acetate in drinking water
from day 1 of intra-uterine life until 60 days after birth, the
lead-exposed male and female were compared to unexposed females and
males, to examine the effect of lead exposure on reproductive function.
Male fertility was not affected but reduced female fertility was
observed: litters were smaller and a smaller number of implantation
sites was found in lead-exposed females. In lead-exposed males, the
weights of the body, testes and epididymes diminished by about 13% and
seminal vesicle and ventral prostate weights, by about 29%. Testicular
histology and the number and morphology of epididymal spermatozoa were
hypothesis is that lead has a direct effect on seminal vesicle and
ventral prostate weights as well as a secondary effect resulting from
possibly reduced food consumption by lead-exposed mice cannot be
in male, exposure to lead might affect reproductive function by acting
directly and/or indirectly on accessory sex organs.
Short description of key information:
The authors concluded that lead may inhibit spermatogenesis at the pre-meiotic stage via lack of testosterone production from Leydig cells. In addition, lead exposure in utero and during the first 60 days of post-natal life leading to a blood lead level above the upper limit of 70 µg/dl proposed by the European union for occupational exposure, did not significantly impair male fertility. Female fertility was impaired by the reductions in litter size and the number of implants in their uteri.
The existing data indicate that lead exposure will not lead to increased frequency of congenital abnormalities in humans. Data relating prenatal blood levels to preterm delivery, gestational age and/or birth weight are mixed and provide uncertain results. Weight of evidence evaluation indicates that effects do not occur at blood lead levels up to 30 µg/dL, but are not adequate to determine the extent of the higher exposure levels that would be required to produce effects. A NOAEL of 30 µg/dL is recommended for pregnancy outcome on a precautionary basis.
Effects of prenatal lead exposure upon neurobehavioural
performance measures have been demonstrated in studies of experimental
animals and presumably will occur in humans. However, available data are
inadequate to establish the dose-effect relationships that characterize
this endpoint. While effects have been observed upon early measures of
mental and physical development, attenuation of effects typically occurs
over time and, in most studies, are not associated with impacts upon
measures such as IQ. However, effects of prenatal lead exposure upon IQ
can be difficult to dissociate from those of postnatal exposure. An
effect of pre-natal lead exposure has been suggested by two of nine
longitudinal studies and has only been reported to persist in one.
Effects observed are secondary in magnitude to those produced by
exposures after birth, but blood lead levels above 10 µg/dL have been
suggested to exert an effect. Although the effects under consideration
would not constitute material impairment of an individual child born to
a woman with a blood lead level in the range of 10 – 20 µg/dL,
maintenance of the blood lead levels of pregnant women at or below
10µg/dL is advised. In essence this is designating 10 µg/dL as the NOAEL
for prenatal effects of lead exposure upon neurobehavioural development
Lead compounds not otherwise specified in Annex 1 of Directive
67/548/EEC are classified as follows:
Repr. Cat. 1; R61 (may cause harm to the
Cat. 3; R62 (possible risk of impaired fertility)
the CLP this classification is designated as:
Repro. 1A :
for reproductive toxicity is supported by the experimental data and
observational human studies. Evidence of impact upon human male
fertility indicates consideration of Repr. Cat. 3 being changed to Repr.
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