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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2000 Feb 11;49(5):97-100.

Elevated blood lead levels among internationally adopted children--United States, 1998.

Abstract

Lead poisoning has been reported recently among Chinese children adopted by U.S. citizens. However, little is known about the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) among adoptees from China and other countries. Persistent sources of lead exposure outside the United States include leaded gasoline exhaust; industrial emissions; cottage industries (e.g., battery breaking and recycling plants); traditional medicines; and some cosmetics, ceramic ware, and foods. In 1998, approximately 15,000 orphans from countries outside the United States who were adopted abroad or were to be adopted in the United States by U.S. citizens were issued U.S. immigrant visas-a nearly two-fold increase over 1988 (L. Lewis, Immigrant and Visa Control and Reporting Division, VISA Office, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. State Department, personal communication, August 1999). Some orphans have been abandoned for extended periods and have no obtainable medical history. Immigrants aged <15 years are not required to have serologic or blood tests either in their country of origin or on entry into the United States unless exposure to syphilis or human immunodeficiency virus is suspected. To obtain reports on the prevalence of elevated BLLs (> or =10 microg/dL) among international adoptees, CDC contacted 12 international adoption medical specialists identified through the Joint Council on International Children's Services and two collaborating medical specialists. This report summarizes the results of that investigation, which suggest that international adoptees may arrive in the United States with elevated BLLs.

PMID:
10718094
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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