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ERIC Number: ED183281
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Undue Lead Absorption and Lead Poisoning in Children: An Overview.
Lin-Fu, J. S.
The toxic effects of lead, a useful metal ubiquitous in the human environment, have long been known. The occupational hazards of lead poisoning were well established by the early 19th century, but plumbism in children caused by paint ingestion was not reported until the turn of the century. Even in 1924, the child was said to live in a "lead world." Despite its preventable nature and formidable mortality and morbidity rates, only in the late 1960s did childhood lead poisoning gain general recognition as an important public health problem in the United States. Federally-funded projects began mass screening of children for lead poisoning in July 1971. As of March 31, 1975, approximately 980,000 children had been screened in these projects. Sixty thousand had blood lead levels of 40 micrograms/100 milliliters or more confirmed on retesting; 10,300 received chelation therapy. Thousands of children with elevated blood levels did not return for retesting and followup. Recent data indicate that lead poisoning and undue lead absorption in children are widespread phenomena not limited to older sections of the inner cities. Aside from lead paint, other potentially hazardous sources include dust, dirt, air, and miscellaneous items. Undue lead absorption without overt clinical toxicity may be associated with psychological and other impairments. (Author/SS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Bureau of Community Health Services (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD.
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment (Toronto, Canada, October 27-31, 1975). Prepared through the Office for Maternal and Child Health. Reprint.