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October 1964

Lead Poisoning During Pregnancy: Fetal Tolerance of Calcium Disodium Edetate

Author Affiliations

Carol R. Angle, MD, Childrens Memorial Hospital, Omaha, Neb 68105.; Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Creighton University and University of Nebraska (Dr. Angle); Assistant Research Professor, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Nebraska Psychiatric Institute, University of Nebraska (Dr. McIntire).

Am J Dis Child. 1964;108(4):436-439. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02090010438016

In the course of investigating a familial epidemic of lead poisoning due to the inhalation of fumes from burning battery cases, we had the opportunity to treat the mother of the family one month before the delivery of a normal infant.1 There have been no previous reports of calcium disodium edetate therapy during pregnancy and no mention of its effect on the fetus. Clinical observations on lead poisoning during pregnancy have been infrequent in the past 30 years. For this reason, the potential fetal toxicity of maternal lead poisoning is briefly reviewed as a preliminary to the report of this case.

For over 100 years, lead poisoning in women has been considered to be associated with sterility, abortions, and high fetal and neonatal loss. In 1860, Paul2 reported that 123 pregnancies in women lead workers terminated in fetal death in 73 instances and that of the 50 live