The report of Amitai et al1 in this issue dealing with the intensification of lead exposure in children whose homes were being deleaded is timely and sobering. While this kind of occurrence has received little attention in pediatric circles, it is not surprising that it can happen. A number of distressing reports have appeared describing intense lead exposure among adults who were stripping, sanding, or burning off lead-containing paint from houses and bridges. The brisk and marked elevation of blood lead and erythrocyte protoporphyrin levels in these patients suggests that the dosage of lead was high and absorption rapid.
See also p 758.
The means by which this exposure takes place is worthy of comment. Traditional dictum is that children get lead poisoning by eating paint chips. But do adult deleaders eat chips while they perform this unpleasant work? Most now wear masks or respirators.
It is the dust generated
Sayre JW. Deleading Houses: Dangers in the Dust. Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(7):727–728. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460070029012
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