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Sci Rep ; 10(1): 15092, 2020 09 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32934309


This study quantitatively assessed the population-wide lead poisoning conditions in Kabwe, Zambia, a town with severe lead pollution. While existing data have reported concerning blood lead levels (BLLs) of residents in pollution hotspots, the data representing the entire population are lacking. Further, selection bias is a concern. Given the lack of compulsory testing schemes, BLLs have been observed from voluntary participants in blood sampling surveys, but such data can represent higher or lower BLLs than the population average because of factors simultaneously affecting participation and BLLs. To illustrate the lead poisoning conditions of the population, we expanded the focus of our surveys and then econometrically estimated the BLLs of individuals representing the population, including those not participating in blood sampling, using background geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic information. The estimated population mean BLL was 11.9 µg/dL (11.6-12.1, 95% CI), lower than existing data because of our wide focus and correction of selection bias. However, the scale of lead poisoning remained immense and 74.9% of residents had BLLs greater than 5 µg/dL, the standard reference level for lead poisoning. Our estimates provide a deeper understanding of the problem and a foundation for policy intervention designs.

Chemosphere ; 243: 125412, 2020 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31995873


Childhood lead (Pb) poisoning has devastating effects on neurodevelopment and causes overt clinical signs including convulsions and coma. Health effects including hypertension and various reproductive problems have been reported in adults. Historical Pb mining in Zambia's Kabwe town left a legacy of environmental pollution and childhood Pb poisoning. The current study aimed at establishing the extent of Pb poisoning and exposure differences among family members in Kabwe as well as determining populations at risk and identify children eligible for chelation therapy. Blood samples were collected in July and August 2017 from 1190 household members and Pb was measured using a portable LeadCare-II analyser. Participants included 291 younger children (3-months to 3-years-old), 271 older children (4-9-years-old), 412 mothers and 216 fathers from 13 townships with diverse levels of Pb contamination. The Blood Lead Levels (BLL) ranged from 1.65 to 162  µg/dL, with residents from Kasanda (mean 45.7  µg/dL) recording the highest BLL while Hamududu residents recorded the lowest (mean 3.3  µg/dL). Of the total number of children sampled (n = 562), 23% exceeded the 45  µg/dL, the threshold required for chelation therapy. A few children (5) exceeded the 100  µg/dL whereas none of the parents exceeded the 100  µg/dL value. Children had higher BLL than parents, with peak BLL-recorded at the age of 2-years-old. Lead exposure differences in Kabwe were attributed to distance and direction from the mine, with younger children at highest risk. Exposure levels in parents were equally alarming. For prompt diagnosis and treatment, a portable point-of-care devise such as a LeadCare-II would be preferable in Kabwe.

Exposição Ambiental/análise , Intoxicação por Chumbo/epidemiologia , Chumbo/sangue , Chumbo/toxicidade , Adulto , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Poluição Ambiental/análise , Pai , Feminino , Humanos , Lactente , Masculino , Mineração , Mães , Registros , Reprodução , Manejo de Espécimes , Zâmbia/epidemiologia