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Global Health
October 19, 2011

Blood Lead Levels

JAMA. 2011;306(15):1644. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1484

Children in developing countries who live near plants that make and recycle lead-acid batteries have blood lead levels 13 times greater than those seen in US children living near comparable facilities, report researchers in California (Gottesfeld P and Pokhrel AK. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2011;8[9]:520-532).

The investigators reviewed data published between 1993 and 2010 on lead exposures from lead-acid battery manufacturing and recycling in 37 developing countries. They also found that battery industry workers in the developing world had blood lead levels that were substantially higher than those in the United States. Airborne lead concentrations in battery plants were 7 times higher than those in the United States.

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