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  • 1 Joint Research Centre Commission of the European Communities, Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry Division Ispra Establishment 21020 Ispra (Varese) (Italy)
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Abstract  

The definition of dose-response relationships in man is the essential requisite to set scientifically health protection standards for the evaluation of a safe level exposure of humans to heavy metals. The derivation of these relationships requires sequential multidisciplinary informations including data on metabolic patterns and biochemical effects in mammals. Unfortunately, sufficient data are not available to establish dose-response curves expecially in long term-low level exposure conditions and a need exists to gather such informations for each metal on absorption, distribution and excretion in laboratory animals and humans. This paper: (1) discuss main problems related to the use of NAA in metallobiochemistry of present levels of trace elements; (2) report data on the current applications of NAA in metallobiochemistry in relation to the work carried out in the context of a project Heavy Metal Pollution of CEC JRC—Ispra. Applications deal with in vivo studies on laboratory animals, in vitro studies on biochemical systems and experiments on tissues of human origin; (3) discuss the perspectives of the use of the nuclear techniques in the environmental toxicology.