Increased lead exposure and increased body burden of lead remains a significant problem for children in the United States. With the increased use of blood level screening methods, a large percentage of children in many industrialized countries are being tested as a being at risk. A controversy continues over the definition of what population to screen and at what age to screen. There are parts of the United States, especially rural areas and health maintenance organization populations, where screening for lead exposure has not been productive. A new drug, DMSA (meso 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid) has been approved for oral chelation of children with increased body burden of lead. At the present time it is labeled for use in children with blood lead concentrations in excess of 45 μg/dL. Evidence exists that DMSA is effective in lowering the blood lead concentrations in children with levels between 25 and 45 μg/dL. The long-term effectiveness of chelation at lower levels is at present uncertain. There remains no substitution for strict environmental decontamination in the home environment of children and the workplace environment of their parents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health