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Biomed Environ Sci. 2009 Aug;22(4):288-96. doi: 10.1016/S0895-3988(09)60058-1.

Surveillance of childhood blood lead levels in 14 cities of China in 2004-2006.

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  • 1Department of Early Childhood Development, Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing 100020, China.



To investigate the blood lead level in children aged 0-6 years in urban areas of China.


Fourteen cities were selected as sites under surveillance. A total of 44 045 peripheral blood specimens were collected from 2004 to 2006, during which 15 727, 14 737, and 13 584 specimens were tested in 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. Tungsten atomizer absorption spectrophotometer was employed to determine blood lead level.


The geometric mean blood lead level in the tested children was 47.10 microg/L with 10.10% > or = 100 microg/L, 46.17 microg/L with 7.78% > or = 100 microg/L, and 47.03 microg/L with 7.30% > or = 100 microg/L in 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. The blood lead levels seemed to tend to rise in parallel with the increase of age of the children and were higher in boys (48.84 microg/L, 47.56 microg/L, and 47.78 microg/L in the 3 respective years) than in girls (45.00 microg/L, 44.53 microg/L, and 46.13 microg/L).


The blood lead levels in children in cities of China are lower than those in previous national studies, but higher than those in developed countries. Childhood lead poisoning remains a public health problem in China.

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