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The Surveillance of Childhood Blood Lead Levels In 11 Cities of China

Saturday, October 20, 2012
Room 346-347 (Morial Convention Center)
Tao Li and Yaohua Dai, Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing, China

The Surveillance of Childhood Blood Lead Levels in 11 Cities of China

Purpose Blood lead level (BLL) as an important issue in child public health is reported every year in the USA, however, that was lacking in a long period in China where there are the largest children population. Aiming to follow up the trend of blood lead levels in Chinese children, we started to establish surveillance net since 2004, and more and more cities joined us as surveillance sites. In this paper, we use the data of blood lead levels gained in 2010 and 2004 among 0-6 years old children from the initial 11 cities participating in our surveillance to show the trend, and explore the risk factors for elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs, blood lead levels ≥100µg/L).

Methods 12693 children in 2004 and 11255 children in 2010 aged 0-6 years from 11 cities of China (They were Guangzhou, Qingdao, Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Hohhot, Hefei, Wuhan, Beijing, Hunan, Shijiazhuang, and Yinchuan) were sampled using a stratified multistage probability sampling to join this study respectively and blood lead specimens from these children were collected. We evaluated the average blood lead levels and prevalence of EBLLs, and finally a multivariable logistic regression model was used to estimate risk predictors of EBLLs.

Results The geometric mean blood lead levels of children aged 0-6 years dropped by 16% from 46.382.10µg/L in 2004 to 38.951.83µg/L in 2010 (P<0.05), while the prevalence of EBLLs dropped by 87% from 9.78% to 1.32% between 2004 and 2010 (P<0.05). In the multivariate analysis, those children cared at home or at boarding nursery, father with a lower education level, often to eat popcorn and often to chew fingernails or suck fingers, were associated with EBLLs.

* Arithmetric mean

Conclusion The results of this study demonstrated a decline in blood lead level of Chinese children living in these 11 cities from 2004 to 2010, especially on the percentage of children with EBLLs, which might result from the promotion of cities' environment and the increasing of health consciousness, such as hand washing habit etc, among citizens. However, comparing with some developed countries (Figure 1.) like America, Canada, Japan and Korea, children's lead exposure is still such a big public health problem that more efforts and sources remain in need.