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Risk factors for children ’ s blood lead levels in metal mining and smelting communities in Armenia: a cross-sectional study

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Children’s exposure to lead poses a significant risk for neurobehavioral consequences. Existing studies documented lead contamination in residential soil in mining and smelting communities in Armenia. This study aimed to assess blood lead levels (BLL) in children living in three communities in Armenia adjacent to metal mining and smelting industries, and related risk factors.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 159 children born from 2007 to 2009 and living in Alaverdi and Akhtala communities and Erebuni district in Yerevan - the capital city. The BLL was measured with a portable LeadCare II Blood Lead Analyzer; a survey was conducted with primary caregivers.

Results: Overall Geometric Mean (GM) of BLL was 6.0 μg/dl: 6.8 for Akhtala, 6.4 for Alaverdi and 5.1 for Yerevan. In the sample 68.6 % of children had BLL above CDC defined reference level of 5 μg/dl: 83.8 % in Akhtala, 72.5 % in Alaverdi, and 52.8 % in Yerevan. Caregiver’s lower education, dusting furniture less than daily, and housing distance from toxic source(s) were risk factors for higher BLL. Additional analysis for separate communities demonstrated interaction between housing distance from toxic source(s) and type of window in Erebuni district of Yerevan.

Conclusions: The study demonstrated that children in three communities adjacent to metal mining and smelting industries were exposed to lead. Investigation of the risk factors suggested that in addition to promoting safe industrial practices at the national level, community-specific interventions could be implemented in low- and middle-income countries to reduce BLL among children.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Alaverdi Community. The farther section was considered to have less exposure because apart from being located slightly farther from the toxic sources it was also located above the gorge on top of the hill as opposed to the closer section which was in the gorge
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Fig2: Alaverdi Community. The farther section was considered to have less exposure because apart from being located slightly farther from the toxic sources it was also located above the gorge on top of the hill as opposed to the closer section which was in the gorge

Mentions: The communities were divided into two sections – those located closer to the toxic source and those located farther from the toxic source. In Akhtala and Alaverdi those districts that were located in the gorge were defined as closer sections, while the districts above the gorge on top of the hill were defined as farther. In Yerevan this division was based on the geographical distance from the toxic source and was derived from official administrative subdivisions of Erebuni district of Yerevan. Figures 1, 2, and 3 present the locations of the toxic source(s) and depict the areas closer and farther from the toxic source(s) in Akhtala, Alaverdi, and Yerevan, respectively. We calculated the midpoint distance from the toxic source variable via Google map. It shows the distance of the midpoint of the closer and farther sections of the community from the toxic source (or from the midpoint of toxic sources, if there was more than one toxic source in a certain community).Fig. 1


Risk factors for children ’ s blood lead levels in metal mining and smelting communities in Armenia: a cross-sectional study
Alaverdi Community. The farther section was considered to have less exposure because apart from being located slightly farther from the toxic sources it was also located above the gorge on top of the hill as opposed to the closer section which was in the gorge
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5015252&req=5

Fig2: Alaverdi Community. The farther section was considered to have less exposure because apart from being located slightly farther from the toxic sources it was also located above the gorge on top of the hill as opposed to the closer section which was in the gorge
Mentions: The communities were divided into two sections – those located closer to the toxic source and those located farther from the toxic source. In Akhtala and Alaverdi those districts that were located in the gorge were defined as closer sections, while the districts above the gorge on top of the hill were defined as farther. In Yerevan this division was based on the geographical distance from the toxic source and was derived from official administrative subdivisions of Erebuni district of Yerevan. Figures 1, 2, and 3 present the locations of the toxic source(s) and depict the areas closer and farther from the toxic source(s) in Akhtala, Alaverdi, and Yerevan, respectively. We calculated the midpoint distance from the toxic source variable via Google map. It shows the distance of the midpoint of the closer and farther sections of the community from the toxic source (or from the midpoint of toxic sources, if there was more than one toxic source in a certain community).Fig. 1

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Children’s exposure to lead poses a significant risk for neurobehavioral consequences. Existing studies documented lead contamination in residential soil in mining and smelting communities in Armenia. This study aimed to assess blood lead levels (BLL) in children living in three communities in Armenia adjacent to metal mining and smelting industries, and related risk factors.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 159 children born from 2007 to 2009 and living in Alaverdi and Akhtala communities and Erebuni district in Yerevan - the capital city. The BLL was measured with a portable LeadCare II Blood Lead Analyzer; a survey was conducted with primary caregivers.

Results: Overall Geometric Mean (GM) of BLL was 6.0 μg/dl: 6.8 for Akhtala, 6.4 for Alaverdi and 5.1 for Yerevan. In the sample 68.6 % of children had BLL above CDC defined reference level of 5 μg/dl: 83.8 % in Akhtala, 72.5 % in Alaverdi, and 52.8 % in Yerevan. Caregiver’s lower education, dusting furniture less than daily, and housing distance from toxic source(s) were risk factors for higher BLL. Additional analysis for separate communities demonstrated interaction between housing distance from toxic source(s) and type of window in Erebuni district of Yerevan.

Conclusions: The study demonstrated that children in three communities adjacent to metal mining and smelting industries were exposed to lead. Investigation of the risk factors suggested that in addition to promoting safe industrial practices at the national level, community-specific interventions could be implemented in low- and middle-income countries to reduce BLL among children.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus