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Type: Journal article
Title: Sociodemographic and behavioural determinants of blood lead concentrations in children aged 11-13 years. The Port Pirie Cohort Study.
Author: Baghurst, P.
Tong, S.
Sawyer, M.
Burns (nee Mudge), J.
McMichael, A.
Citation: Medical Journal of Australia, 1999; 170(2):63-67
Issue Date: 1999
ISSN: 0314-514X
Abstract: <h4>Objective</h4>To describe the determinants of blood lead concentration in children with long term environmental exposure to lead.<h4>Design</h4>Prospective cohort study.<h4>Setting</h4>The lead smelting town of Port Pirie, South Australia, and surrounding townships.<h4>Participants</h4>326 children born in and around Port Pirie, 1979-1982, followed up until age 11-13 years in 1993-1994.<h4>Main outcome measures</h4>Blood lead concentrations assessed at birth and at multiple ages up to 11-13 years; average lifetime blood lead concentration.<h4>Results</h4>Mean blood lead concentration rose sharply over the ages 6 to 15 months, reached a maximum around 2 years of age, and declined steadily as the children grew older. There was no difference in blood lead concentration between boys and girls until they reached the age of 11-13 years, when mean blood lead concentration in boys (8.4 micrograms/dL [0.41 mumol/L]) was slightly higher than in girls (7.5 micrograms/dL [0.36 mumol/L]). Residential area and father's employment site were the two variables most strongly predictive of a child's blood lead concentration at the end of primary school. Poorer-quality home environment was also found to be an independent contributor to blood lead concentrations.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Age-related factors, and possibly recent concerted efforts to decrease entry or re-entrainment of lead into the environment at Port Pirie, have resulted in most children in our study having blood lead concentrations below 10 micrograms/dL (0.48 mumol/L) at the end of their primary school years. Lead exposure during a child's early years remains an important contributor to average lifetime exposure.
Keywords: Humans
Lead Poisoning
Risk Factors
Regression Analysis
Prospective Studies
Child Behavior
Sucking Behavior
Environmental Exposure
Age Factors
Residence Characteristics
Socioeconomic Factors
Extraction and Processing Industry
Urban Health
South Australia
DOI: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1999.tb126884.x
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