Lead Poisoning in Children

toy phoneLead poisoning world-wide contributes to 600,000 new cases a year of intellectual disability. Lead was the primary contaminant in 57 of 242 studies of known chemical contamination sites, representing 8,345 exposed children. Read more…

In the recently published “Notes from the field: Severe environmental and elevated blood lead levels among children- Zambia, 2014,” they found for this area near copper mining that:

  1. The average blood lead level (BLL) was 48.3 .
  2. The lowest BLL was 13.6, far in excess of the recommended <5 micrograms/dL. Read more…

 

It is known that living near mining, smelters, and battery operations is the most risky for children. In the US, the greatest risk is still from old lead based paint in homes built before 1978, and toys painted with lead paint.  Young children who may eat peeling paint are at the highest risk. Removing lead from gasoline and paints was the single most important action our government has taken on this issue.  Lead is still allowed in aviation gasoline, so living near an airport may still pose an increased risk. If in doubt get your lead level checked.  We check all infants at 9 months age and again if they are living in a high risk environment.  When levels are over 45 micrograms/dL, chelation therapy is recommended.

 

For guidelines on what to do, see the CDC fact sheet found here…

 

Dr. Paul

 

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