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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12668-12682; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212668

Lead in School Children from Morelos, Mexico: Levels, Sources and Feasible Interventions

1
Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Universidad No. 655 Colonia Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cerrada Los Pinos y Caminera C.P., Cuernavaca, Morelos 62100, Mexico
2
Departamento de Toxicología Ambiental, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí 78000, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 October 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 8 December 2014
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Abstract

Background: Lead is a pervasive pollutant, associated at low levels to many adverse health effects. Objective: To investigate lead levels, exposure pathways and intervention possibilities in school children from Alpuyeca, in Morelos, Mexico. Methods: Blood lead concentrations (BPb) were measured in 226 children in 2011. Exposure pathways were assessed through a questionnaire, lead measurements in different environmental matrices and spatial aggregation analysis of lead concentrations. Results: BPb ranged from 1.5 to 36.5 µg/dL, with a mean (SD) of 7.23 (4.9) µg/dL. Sixty-four and 18% of the children had BPb > 5 µg/dL and > 10 µg/dL, respectively. The use of lead glazed ceramics was reported in almost half of the households; it was the main BPb determinant and it was associated with an increased risk of having BPb > 5 g/dL by 2.7 times (p = 0.001). Environmental samples were within US EPA’s lead recommended limits, and blood lead levels were randomly distributed in the community. Conclusions: Lead remains a public health problem in Alpuyeca, Mexico. Unlike other local pollutants, lead exposure prevention can be achieved inexpensively and in a short term. Interventions should make mothers aware of lead’s health effects and empower them to safeguard their children’s health by avoiding the culturally ingrained use of lead glazed pottery. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pb; lead sources; children; lead-glazed ceramics; Alpuyeca; Mexican candy Pb; lead sources; children; lead-glazed ceramics; Alpuyeca; Mexican candy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Farías, P.; Álamo-Hernández, U.; Mancilla-Sánchez, L.; Texcalac-Sangrador, J.L.; Carrizales-Yáez, L.; Riojas-Rodríguez, H. Lead in School Children from Morelos, Mexico: Levels, Sources and Feasible Interventions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 12668-12682.

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