Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
FLORES-RAMIREZ, Rogelio et al. Children exposure to lead in contaminated sites. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2012, vol.54, n.4, pp.383-392. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342012000400008.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the exposure to lead in children living in various types of contaminated sites. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was conducted from June 2008 to December 2009 at four sites in Mexico: Avalos metallurgical, Chihuahua; Morales metallurgical, San Luis Potosí (SLP); Trinidad pottery area, Tlaxcala and Cedral mine site, SLP. These sites contain different sources of lead. The metal levels were quantified in outdoor dust and in peripheral blood of children. RESULTS: Lead dust concentrations exceed the National Guidelines for residential soils (400 mg/kg) in a range of values for the four sites from 62 to 5 187 mg/kg. Regarding biological monitoring, the studied children showed maximum lead blood levels of 22 µg/dL in Cedral, 31 µg/dL in Morales, 32 µg/dL in Avalos, and 52 µg/dL in Trinidad. It is important to mention that in all the studied sites, a significative positive correlation was found between blood lead levels and the lead concentrations in dust. CONCLUSION: These sites are an example of the health risks related to lead exposure in Mexico; therefore, there is an urgent need for a national public health program aimed at reducing lead exposure in vulnerable populations.
Keywords : lead; hazardous sites; biological monitoring; children's environmental health; Mexico.