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More than half of American children have detectable lead levels in their blood-Consumer Health News




Monday, September 27, 2021 (HealthDay News)-A new study reveals that more than 50% of American children have detectable blood lead levels. And toddlers who live in places with lots of pre-1950s homes and low incomes are at greatest risk.

“Public health officials have made commendable efforts to reduce lead exposure for decades, but there are still significant risks,” said study co-author Quest Diagnosis Health. Dr. Harvey Kaufman, head of trend research, said. “Our research warns of the major challenge of restoring the environment after being contaminated with toxins that are dangerous to human health.”

For this study, researchers at Quest Diagnostics and Boston Children’s Hospital analyzed laboratory blood tests in approximately 1.2 million children under the age of 6 in the United States. 71% were under 3 years old.

Almost 51% contained detectable levels of lead in the blood. Analysis found.. About 2% had levels above 5.0 µg / dL. This is the level at which the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends public health activities. That percentage has fallen by more than 36% from the previous survey, which is based on data from 2009 to 2015.

According to the CDC, children do not have safe levels of lead. It is found in old houses, water pipes, areas with heavy industry, and some consumer product paints.

“Although exposure to the highest levels of lead has declined in recent years, most American children are exposed to lead, a substance that is unsafe for children of all levels,” Kaufman said in a quest diagnosis. Said in the news release. “In addition, our analysis found that children in areas with the highest poverty rates were also at greatest risk, highlighting the important role of social disparities in health.”

The main findings are as follows.

  • Six out of ten children living in the poorest areas had detectable levels of lead in their blood, compared to 39% of children living in the poorest areas.
  • Children in areas with high poverty were almost three times more likely to have elevated blood lead levels than children in areas with the lowest poverty levels (3% vs. 1%).
  • 57% of children in the areas with the most homes built before 1950 had detectable levels of lead compared to 43% of children in the areas with the fewest homes before 1950. rice field. The risk of elevated blood levels was also almost four times higher (4% vs. 1%).
  • Overall, 58% of children in predominantly black neighborhoods had detectable lead levels in their blood compared to 49% of children in white neighborhoods.
  • Approximately 3% of children in the black neighborhood, 2% of children in the white neighborhood, and 1% of children in the Hispanic neighborhood had elevated blood lead levels.
  • Nebraska has the highest percentage of children with detectable blood levels of lead (83%), followed by Mizuri (82%), Michigan (78%), Iowa (76%) and Utah (73%). I did.
  • In the six states of Nebraska (6%), Ohio (5%), Pennsylvania (5%), Missouri (5%), Michigan (5%) and Wisconsin (4%), blood levels are 2% of the national total. It has more than doubled. ..

Researchers have pointed out that the detectable lead levels are abnormal and can be harmful, especially in young children. The neurotoxin lead is associated with brain and nervous system damage, learning, behavior, conversation and hearing problems.

Co-author Dr. Jeffrey Gudin, Senior Medical Advisor at Quest Diagnostics, said: “This means limiting exposure and” testing the lead in the infant’s blood and retesting regularly if the results show potentially dangerous levels. “

Gudin pointed out that exposure to lead is not always obvious. That’s why testing is important.

Dr. Philip Landrigan of Boston University and David Bellinger of Harvard Medical College Co-authored editorial It accompanied the study.

“The results of this study underscore the urgent need to eliminate all causes of lead exposure from the environment of children in the United States,” they wrote.

The report was published online on September 27th JAMA Pediatrics..

For more information

For more information on kids and leads Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..

Source: Quest Diagnostics, News Release, September 27, 2021




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