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      Lead Contamination in Opium, Opium Tincture, and Methadone Oral Solution, in Iran

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          Abstract

          Background

          The present study is conducted with the aim to assess the lead contamination in opium tincture, methadone oral solution, and opium.

          Methods

          10 samples from each of the matters of opium tinctures, methadone oral solutions, and opium (provided by the Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran) were collected. Then, an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) was used to measure lead concentration in each of the samples. Data were analyzed using the SPSS software. A P value of 0.05 or less was considered to be statistically significant (Two-tailed).

          Findings

          In this study, the amount of lead measured in all samples was equal or less than 5 parts per million (ppm) and the only exception was the lead level of 5.6 ppm in one of the opium tincture samples, which was slightly higher than the standard lead level.

          Conclusion

          The results of the current study showed that lead was present in opium tincture, methadone oral solution, and opium, but it was not in toxic levels. It is reasonable for opium derived medicinal products, but the low levels of lead in opium may need to be addressed at different times in different regions of the country.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Biomarkers of Lead Exposure and DNA Methylation within Retrotransposons

          Background DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark that regulates gene expression. Changes in DNA methylation within white blood cells may result from cumulative exposure to environmental metals such as lead. Bone lead, a marker of cumulative exposure, may therefore better predict DNA methylation than does blood lead. Objective In this study we compared associations between lead biomarkers and DNA methylation. Methods We measured global methylation in participants of the Normative Aging Study (all men) who had archived DNA samples. We measured patella and tibia lead levels by K-X-Ray fluorescence and blood lead by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. DNA samples from blood were used to determine global methylation averages within CpG islands of long interspersed nuclear elements-1 (LINE-1) and Alu retrotransposons. A mixed-effects model using repeated measures of Alu or LINE-1 as the dependent variable and blood/bone lead (tibia or patella in separate models) as the primary exposure marker was fit to the data. Results Overall mean global methylation (± SD) was 26.3 ± 1.0 as measured by Alu and 76.8 ± 1.9 as measured by LINE-1. In the mixed-effects model, patella lead levels were inversely associated with LINE-1 (β = −0.25; p < 0.01) but not Alu (β = −0.03; p = 0.4). Tibia lead and blood lead did not predict global methylation for either Alu or LINE-1. Conclusion Patella lead levels predicted reduced global DNA methylation within LINE-1 elements. The association between lead exposure and LINE-1 DNA methylation may have implications for the mechanisms of action of lead on health outcomes, and also suggests that changes in DNA methylation may represent a biomarker of past lead exposure.
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            Presence of lead in opium.

            Opium addiction is a common form of addiction in Middle East countries such as Iran. Recently several reports suggested some kinds of pathologic findings such as abdominal pain, nephropathy, and anemia in opium addict patients. Such pathologic findings suggest lead poisoning in the patients. In this study, the concentration of lead in 10 opium samples was evaluated. The mean concentration of lead in the opium samples was 1.88 ppm. This may explain some of the pathologic findings found in addict patients. The authors would suggest further investigations to evaluate the lead concentration in opium addicts' sera and also routine screening for lead poisoning in opium addict patients.
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              Lead Exposure and Oxidative Stress: A Systematic Review.

              Lead is an environmental toxicant that can induce oxidative stress (OS) via reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, which has been reported as an important mechanism underlying lead toxicity (Gurer and Ercal 2000; Pande and Flora 2002; Kasperczyk et al. 2004a; Farmand et al. 2005; Verstraeten et al. 2008; Wang et al. 2009; Martinez-Haro et al. 2011). OS occurs when the generation of ROS exceeds the antioxidant system's ability to defend cells against oxidized molecules. ROS is a term generally used to refer to free radicals derived from O2 (e.g., superoxide anions [O2-] and hydroxyl radicals [OH-]) or to non-radical species (e.g. hydrogen peroxide [H2O2]) (Halliwell and Cross 1994).
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Addict Health
                Addict Health
                AHJ
                Addiction & Health
                Kerman University of Medical Sciences
                2008-4633
                2008-8469
                January 2020
                : 12
                : 1
                : 34-39
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Toxicology Research Center, Excellence Center of Clinical Toxicology AND Department of Clinical Toxicology, Loghman Hakim Hospital, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Shahin Shadnia; Toxicology Research Center, Excellence Center of Clinical Toxicology AND Department of Clinical Toxicology, Loghman Hakim Hospital, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran Email: shahin1380@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                AHJ-12-034
                10.22122/ahj.v12i1.258
                7291899
                © 2020 Kerman University of Medical Sciences

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.

                Categories
                Original Article

                opium, papaver, methadone, lead poisoning

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