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February 1974

Children and Lead

Author Affiliations

St. Mary's Hospital Medical School London, W.2.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(2):165-166. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110210015001

The lead poisoning controversy remains an active issue in child health care, and the report by Sayre and his colleagues from Rochester, NY (see p 167) provides interesting new information. The issues have economic and pediatric implications since it has recently been argued that although airborne lead as such may have limited importance, atmospheric fallout provides a continuing source of contamination for city soils and dusts. Urban children are known to have greater blood lead concentrations than those in rural communities, but it has yet to be established whether contaminated dusts are an important source. Unfortunately, the Rochester report indicates only that city children have a greater degree of skin contamination of the hands with lead than a suburban group, and the critical issues of how much lead is transferred to the child's mouth, where it came from, and how it compares with the magnitude of other sources remain unresolved.

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