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Int J Occup Environ Health. 2009 Oct-Dec;15(4):351-9.

Predictors of blood lead in children in Chennai, India (2005-2006).

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University of Michigan School of Public Health 109 Observatory St., 1700 SPH i, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA.


Lead has been phased out of gasoline in India since 2001. However, elevated blood lead levels continue to be reported, and little is known about the predictors of lead exposure. The purpose of this study was to examine the lead burden and identify possible predictors of blood lead among children in Chennai, India after the phase-out of leaded gasoline. Subjects were children from twelve schools in Chennai. Venous blood was collected and analyzed for lead. Demographic, environmental, and nutritional information was collected using questionnaires administered to the primary caregiver. Generalized estimating equations were used to assess predictors of blood lead. We found that lead exposure remains elevated among children four or more years after the phase-out of lead from gasoline. Industrial activity, water storage vessels, and lower socio-economic status are predictors of elevated blood lead in this population, but additional work is required to better define preventable risk factors.

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