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Open AccessArticle

Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Infants and Mothers in Benin and Potential Sources of Exposure

Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique, 35043 Rennes, France
Inserm UMR 1153 Obstetrical, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Research Team (Epopé), Center for Epidemiology and Statistics Sorbonne Paris Cité, DHU Risks in Pregnancy, Paris Descartes University, 75014 Paris, France
Inserm UMR 1085, Institut de Recherche en Santé, Environnement et Travail (IRSET), 35000 Rennes, France
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Mère et Enfant Face aux Infections Tropicales, 75006 Paris, France
Faculté des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biologiques, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Université Paris Descartes, 75006 Paris, France
Laboratoire de Toxicologie, Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec, Québec, QC G1V 5B3, Canada
Faculté des Sciences de la Santé, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Bénin
Axe Santé des Populations et Pratiques Optimales en Santé, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec, Québec, QC G1V 5B3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Howard W. Mielke
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 316;
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 25 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 11 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lead: Risk Assessment and Health Effects)
Lead in childhood is well known to be associated with poor neurodevelopment. As part of a study on maternal anemia and offspring neurodevelopment, we analyzed blood lead level (BLL) with no prior knowledge of lead exposure in 225 mothers and 685 offspring 1 to 2 years old from Allada, a semi-rural area in Benin, sub-Saharan Africa, between May 2011 and May 2013. Blood samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Environmental assessments in households and isotopic ratio measurements were performed for eight children with BLL > 100 µg/L. High lead levels (BLL > 50 µg/L) were found in 44% of mothers and 58% of children. The median BLL was 55.1 (interquartile range 39.2–85.0) and 46.6 (36.5–60.1) µg/L, respectively. Maternal BLL was associated with offspring’s consumption of piped water and animals killed by ammunition. Children’s BLL was associated with presence of paint chips in the house and consumption of animals killed by ammunition. In this population, with 98% of children still breastfed, children’s BLL was highly associated with maternal BLL on multivariate analyses. Environmental measures and isotopic ratios supported these findings. Offspring may be highly exposed to lead in utero and probably via breastfeeding in addition to lead paint exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: lead exposure; sources; child; sub-Saharan Africa; Lead Isotopic Ratios lead exposure; sources; child; sub-Saharan Africa; Lead Isotopic Ratios
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Bodeau-Livinec, F.; Glorennec, P.; Cot, M.; Dumas, P.; Durand, S.; Massougbodji, A.; Ayotte, P.; Le Bot, B. Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Infants and Mothers in Benin and Potential Sources of Exposure. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 316.

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