Environmental Lead Pollution and Elevated Blood Lead Levels Among Children in a Rural Area of China

Fujian Provincial Centre for Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases and Chemical Poisoning, Fuzhou, China.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 03/2011; 101(5):834-41. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.193656
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We investigated environmental lead pollution and its impact on children's blood lead levels (BLLs) in a rural area of China.
In 2007, we studied 379 children younger than 15 years living in 7 villages near lead mines and processing plants, along with a control group of 61 children from another village. We determined their BLLs and collected environmental samples, personal data, and information on other potential exposures. We followed approximately 86% of the children who had high BLLs (> 15 μg/dL) for 1 year. We determined factors influencing BLLs by multivariate linear regression.
Lead concentrations in soil and household dust were much higher in polluted villages than in the control village, and more children in the polluted area than in the control village had elevated BLLs (87%, 16.4 μg/dL vs 20%, 7.1 μg/dL). Increased BLL was independently associated with environmental lead levels. We found a significant reduction of 5 micrograms per deciliter when we retested children after 1 year.
Our data show that the lead industry caused serious environmental pollution that led to high BLLs in children living nearby.

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