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Am J Epidemiol. 1993 Feb 15;137(4):447-55.

Assessment of blood lead levels in children living in a historic mining and smelting community.

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Division of Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology, Colorado Department of Health, Denver 80222-1530.


Lead poisoning in childhood is an important public health problem, and thus, it is important to determine how children are exposed to lead. In 1987, the authors conducted an exposure assessment and blood lead screening for children aged 6-71 months living in Leadville, Colorado. High levels of lead had been found in the soil as a result of both past mining and smelting activities and natural mineralization. Blood was collected from each child for lead analysis, and behavioral characteristics were identified through an interview with a parent or guardian. Three sources of exposure to lead were associated with blood lead levels: lead in a core sample taken from the backyard of the family's home, lead brought home on the clothes of a miner, and lead from soldering in the home. Two pathways of exposure were associated with blood lead levels: the child swallowing things other than food, and taking food or a bottle outside to play. Multivariate regression using these variables found effect modification by age. For children aged 6-36 months, only sources of exposure were independent predictors of blood lead levels, while in children aged 37-71 months, a pathway of exposure in addition to sources of exposure independently predicted blood lead levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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