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Environmental Health

, 2:5

First Online: 15 April 2003Received: 28 December 2002Accepted: 15 April 2003DOI: 10.1186-1476-069X-2-5

Cite this article as: Nuwayhid, I., Nabulsi, M., Muwakkit, S. et al. Environ Health 2003 2: 5. doi:10.1186-1476-069X-2-5


BackgroundChildhood lead poisoning has not made the list of national public health priorities in Lebanon. This study aims at identifying the prevalence and risk factors for elevated blood lead concentrations B-Pb ≥ 100 μg-L among 1–3 year old children. It also examines the need for universal blood lead screening.

MethodsThis is a cross-sectional study of 281 well children, presenting to the pediatric ambulatory services at the American University of Beirut Medical Center in 1997–98. Blood was drawn on participating children for lead analysis and a structured questionnaire was introduced to mothers asking about social, demographic, and residence characteristics, as well as potential risk factors for lead exposure. Children with B-Pb ≥ 100 μg-L were compared to those with B-Pb < 100 μg-L.

ResultsMean B-Pb was 66.0 μg-L median 60.0; range 10–160; standard deviation 26.3 with 39 14% children with B-Pb ≥ 100 μg-L. Logistic regression analysis showed that elevated B-Pb was associated with paternal manual jobs odds ratio OR: 4.74, residence being located in high traffic areas OR: 4.59, summer season OR: 4.39, using hot tap water for cooking OR: 3.96, exposure to kohl OR: 2.40, and living in older buildings OR: 2.01.

ConclusionLead screening should be offered to high-risk children. With the recent ban of leaded gasoline in Lebanon, emphasis should shift to other sources of exposure in children.

List of abbreviationsB-Pbblood lead concentration

AUBMCAmerican University of Beirut Medical Center

ORodds ratio

CIconfidence interval.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1476-069X-2-5 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Iman Nuwayhid - Mona Nabulsi - Samar Muwakkit - Sarah Kouzi - George Salem - Mohamed Mikati - Majd Ariss


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