Elevated blood lead levels (BPbs) have been identified in Uruguayan children in the La Teja neighborhood of Montevideo, but the extent of lead exposure in other city areas is unknown. Sources and predictors of exposure also remain understudied in this population. In 2007, the authors screened lead and hemoglobin levels in capillary blood of 222 preschool children from several areas of Montevideo, Uruguay, and identified predictors of elevated BPbs. Mean BPb was 9.0 ± 6.0 μg/dL and 32.9% of children had levels ≥10μg/dL. Mean hemoglobin level was 10.5 ± 1.5 g/dL, with 44.1% having levels <10.5g/dL. Older child age, hemoglobin <10.5g/dL, and putting fingers/toys in the mouth were associated with higher BPbs. Young maternal age, less education, father's job with potential risk of lead exposure, and fewer family possessions were also associated with higher BPbs. Pediatric lead exposure is a public health problem in Uruguay, with children experiencing elevated BPbs at a young age.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis