July 1987

Hazards of 'Deleading' Homes of Children With Lead Poisoning

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, The Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston (Drs Amitai and Graef); The Massachusetts Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, Boston (Ms Brown); Bay State Medical Center, Springfield, Mass (Dr Gerstle); Bon Secours Hospital, Methuen, Mass (Dr Kahn); Burbank Hospital, Fitchburg, Mass (Dr Cochrane); and Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston (Drs Amitai and Graef).

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(7):758-760. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460070060024

• "Deleading" the homes of children with lead poisoning is a necessary step to terminate the child's exposure to lead. Lead poisoning as a result of lead exposure during the process of deleading has occurred in deleading workers but has not been well documented among children whose homes are deleaded. We treated four children with classes I through III lead poisoning (range of blood lead [Pb-B] level, 1.6 to 2.75 μmol/L [33 to 57 μg/dL]) who had significant elevation of their Pb-B levels (range, peak 4.34 to 6.27 μmol/L [90 to 130 μg/dL]) following deleading of their homes. The methods used for deleading included scraping, sanding, and burning of the paint. Symptoms included irritability (n=3) and vomiting (n=1). The elevation of the Pb-B levels was detected early, allowing prompt chelation therapy. Because exacerbation of lead poisoning may occur in children following deleading of their homes, safer approaches of deleading should be determined.

(AJDC 1987;141:758-760)