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Elevated blood lead levels in children of construction workers.
Whelan EA; Piacitelli GM; Gerwel B; Schnorr TM; Mueller CA; Gittleman J; Matte TD
Am J Public Health 1997 Aug; 87(8):1352-1355
The blood lead (7439921) levels of the children of lead exposed construction workers were examined. Construction workers living in households with children under the age of six were identified from the New Jersey Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance registry. Control households were selected from the same neighborhoods. The adults of the household were interviewed concerning work and household characteristics. Blood samples obtained from children under six were analyzed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Dust, paint chip, and water samples were collected from the homes and analyzed. The study included 31 children from 29 exposed households and 19 children from 18 control households. Most construction workers engaged in practices with potential for home contamination, such as wearing work clothing home, laundering work clothes at home, and driving the family car to and from the worksite. Hobbies with potential lead exposure were more prevalent in exposed homes than in control homes. Control and exposed households had similar lead content in paint and water. Dust lead levels were significantly higher in the exposed cars than in control cars. Dust lead levels also tended to be higher in exposed households than in control households. The mean blood lead level of exposed children, 7.4 micrograms per deciliter (microg/dl), was slightly higher than that of control children, 5.1microg/dl. Exposed children had a greater risk of having blood lead levels higher than 10microg/dl, with an odds ratio (OR) of 6.1. The children of workers with high potential for home contamination were at an even greater risk, with an OR of 7.1. Blood lead levels were correlated with dust lead levels in exposed homes, but not in control homes. The authors conclude that children of lead exposed construction workers may be at risk of high lead exposure.
NIOSH-Author; Humans; Construction-workers; Lead-dust; Blood-samples; Blood-analysis; Occupational-exposure; Environmental-exposure; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Atomic-absorption-spectrometry; Work-practices; Dust-analysis
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Public Health
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division