Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Results from Russia: The Commencement of Blood Lead Testing in Kids. (Science Selections)

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Results from Russia: The Commencement of Blood Lead Testing in Kids. (Science Selections)

Article excerpt

A binational collaboration to evaluate pediatric lead poisoning in Russia [EHP 110: 559-562] has shown that although mean blood lead levels (BLLs) of the children studied were below U.S. guidelines, continued monitoring should still be done as Russia moves toward becoming more industrialized and thus, the potential for greater exposures increases.

Carol Rubin, chief of the Health Studies Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health, led the study of children in the Russian cities of Ekaterinburg, Volgograd, and Krasnouralsk. She and her colleagues chose the two former cities, each with a population of about 100,000, for their high industrial lead emissions and exhaust from vehicles using leaded gasoline. Smaller Krasnouralsk was chosen because it has a copper smelter that spews lead by-products into the atmosphere.

Blood samples were obtained using a new, portable, blood lead analysis instrument which requires only a fingerstick instead of vein puncture, making it more child-friendly. To assess the accuracy of the new device, the researchers retested the children's blood samples at the CDC lab and obtained comparable measurements. Blood samples were analyzed for 1,101 children 2-6 years old who were enrolled in preschools and kindergartens. Researchers also took environmental lead samples to find potential sources of exposure.

The study revealed a geometric mean BLL of 7. …

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