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Geographical patterns in blood lead in relation to industrial emissions and traffic in Swedish children, 1978-2007.

Stroh E, Lundh T, Oudin A, Skerfving S, Strömberg U - BMC Public Health (2009)

Bottom Line: This effect was, however, not visible after 1987 due to prohibition of lead in petrol.This is alarming since it could imply that living or working in the vicinity of a former lead source could pose a threat years after reduction of the emission.The analysis also revealed that urban children exposed to lead from traffic were only affected during the early period, when there were considerable amounts of lead in petrol, and that the prohibition of lead in petrol in later years led to reduced levels of lead in the blood of urban children.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. emilie.stroh@med.lu.se

ABSTRACT

Background: Blood lead concentrations (B-Pb) were measured in 3 879 Swedish school children during the period 1978-2007. The objective was to study the effect of the proximity to lead sources based on the children's home and school location.

Methods: The children's home address and school location were geocoded and their proximity to a lead smelter and major roads was calculated using geographical information system (GIS) software. All the statistical analyses were carried out using means of generalized log-linear modelling, with natural-logarithm-transformed B-Pb, adjusted for sex, school year, lead-exposing hobby, country of birth and, in the periods 1988-1994 and 1995-2007, parents' smoking habits.

Results: The GIS analysis revealed that although the emission from the smelter and children's B-Pb levels had decreased considerably since 1978, proximity to the lead smelter continued to affect levels of B-Pb, even in recent years (geometric mean: near smelter: 22.90 microg/l; far from smelter 19.75 microg/l; p = 0.001). The analysis also revealed that proximity to major roads noticeably affected the children's B-Pb levels during the period 1978-1987 (geometric mean near major roads: 44.26 microg/l; far from roads: 38.32 microg/l; p = 0.056), due to the considerable amount of lead in petrol. This effect was, however, not visible after 1987 due to prohibition of lead in petrol.

Conclusion: The results show that proximity to the lead smelter still has an impact on the children's B-Pb levels. This is alarming since it could imply that living or working in the vicinity of a former lead source could pose a threat years after reduction of the emission. The analysis also revealed that urban children exposed to lead from traffic were only affected during the early period, when there were considerable amounts of lead in petrol, and that the prohibition of lead in petrol in later years led to reduced levels of lead in the blood of urban children.

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Study location. Map showing the location of the county of Scania, and the municipalities of Landskrona and Trelleborg. The major roads in the municipalities, the location of the lead smelter in Landskrona and the location of the participating children's residences, as well as the area defined as "near the smelter", and city areas from previous studies.
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Figure 1: Study location. Map showing the location of the county of Scania, and the municipalities of Landskrona and Trelleborg. The major roads in the municipalities, the location of the lead smelter in Landskrona and the location of the participating children's residences, as well as the area defined as "near the smelter", and city areas from previous studies.

Mentions: Lead exposure is a major health problem, especially in children [1]. Since 1978, annual measurements have been made of the blood lead concentration (B-Pb) in children living in the municipalities of Landskrona and Trelleborg, both located on the coast in southern Sweden, separated by a distance of 70–80 km (Figure 1). We have previously reported results from this unique time series of B-Pb measurements in children [2-4]. In 1978 the geometric mean B-Pb level was 60 μg/l, whereas in 2007 it was only 13 μg/l, indicating a dramatic decrease in B-Pb during the period 1978–1994 [4].


Geographical patterns in blood lead in relation to industrial emissions and traffic in Swedish children, 1978-2007.

Stroh E, Lundh T, Oudin A, Skerfving S, Strömberg U - BMC Public Health (2009)

Study location. Map showing the location of the county of Scania, and the municipalities of Landskrona and Trelleborg. The major roads in the municipalities, the location of the lead smelter in Landskrona and the location of the participating children's residences, as well as the area defined as "near the smelter", and city areas from previous studies.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2724513&req=5

Figure 1: Study location. Map showing the location of the county of Scania, and the municipalities of Landskrona and Trelleborg. The major roads in the municipalities, the location of the lead smelter in Landskrona and the location of the participating children's residences, as well as the area defined as "near the smelter", and city areas from previous studies.
Mentions: Lead exposure is a major health problem, especially in children [1]. Since 1978, annual measurements have been made of the blood lead concentration (B-Pb) in children living in the municipalities of Landskrona and Trelleborg, both located on the coast in southern Sweden, separated by a distance of 70–80 km (Figure 1). We have previously reported results from this unique time series of B-Pb measurements in children [2-4]. In 1978 the geometric mean B-Pb level was 60 μg/l, whereas in 2007 it was only 13 μg/l, indicating a dramatic decrease in B-Pb during the period 1978–1994 [4].

Bottom Line: This effect was, however, not visible after 1987 due to prohibition of lead in petrol.This is alarming since it could imply that living or working in the vicinity of a former lead source could pose a threat years after reduction of the emission.The analysis also revealed that urban children exposed to lead from traffic were only affected during the early period, when there were considerable amounts of lead in petrol, and that the prohibition of lead in petrol in later years led to reduced levels of lead in the blood of urban children.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. emilie.stroh@med.lu.se

ABSTRACT

Background: Blood lead concentrations (B-Pb) were measured in 3 879 Swedish school children during the period 1978-2007. The objective was to study the effect of the proximity to lead sources based on the children's home and school location.

Methods: The children's home address and school location were geocoded and their proximity to a lead smelter and major roads was calculated using geographical information system (GIS) software. All the statistical analyses were carried out using means of generalized log-linear modelling, with natural-logarithm-transformed B-Pb, adjusted for sex, school year, lead-exposing hobby, country of birth and, in the periods 1988-1994 and 1995-2007, parents' smoking habits.

Results: The GIS analysis revealed that although the emission from the smelter and children's B-Pb levels had decreased considerably since 1978, proximity to the lead smelter continued to affect levels of B-Pb, even in recent years (geometric mean: near smelter: 22.90 microg/l; far from smelter 19.75 microg/l; p = 0.001). The analysis also revealed that proximity to major roads noticeably affected the children's B-Pb levels during the period 1978-1987 (geometric mean near major roads: 44.26 microg/l; far from roads: 38.32 microg/l; p = 0.056), due to the considerable amount of lead in petrol. This effect was, however, not visible after 1987 due to prohibition of lead in petrol.

Conclusion: The results show that proximity to the lead smelter still has an impact on the children's B-Pb levels. This is alarming since it could imply that living or working in the vicinity of a former lead source could pose a threat years after reduction of the emission. The analysis also revealed that urban children exposed to lead from traffic were only affected during the early period, when there were considerable amounts of lead in petrol, and that the prohibition of lead in petrol in later years led to reduced levels of lead in the blood of urban children.

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