Article Text


28 Para-occupational lead exposure in children of workers in factories using lead
  1. D J Jeannel1,
  2. Thos2,
  3. Titton3,
  4. Allain2,
  5. Yemadje2,
  6. Precausta4,
  7. Albouy5
  1. 1Orléans, France
  2. 2InVS regional office Cire Centre, Orléans, France
  3. 3Health agency of Centre region, Orléans, France
  4. 4Occupational medicine, Pithiviers, France
  5. 5Dirrecte, Orléans, France


Objectives After reporting 2 children lead poisoning (>100 mg/L), environmental investigation identified parental occupational exposure as the most likely source. A cross-sectional survey was implemented in September 2010, its aim was to estimate and analyse the para-occupational exposure of employee’s children of two factories in the Centre Region (France) and their subcontractors.

Methods Children were screened for blood lead level on a voluntary basis. Individual and family data on potential lead exposure were collected using a questionnaire and analysed using SAS®9.1. Risk factors for lead contamination were identified using univariate logistic regression.

Results Overall, 87 children from 0 to 18 years (40 boys and 47 girls) with at least one parent occupationally exposed to lead, were screened (participation rate was 31.5%). Arithmetic and geographic means of blood lead levels were respectively 34.2 mg/L and 26.9 mg/L. The prevalence of contamination (between 50 and 99 µg/L) was 17.2% and that of intoxication (≥100 µg/L) is 1.15%. Risk factors for contamination were age under 6 (RR = 2.11 p = 0.09) and living in a home built before 1948 (RR = 3.96 p = 0.02). Children under 6 had a blood lead level average of 46.9 mg/L, significantly higher than that of children aged 6–12 and 12–18 (respectively 32.4 and 25.1 mg/L). A significant correlation was observed between blood lead level of children and that of their exposed parent (p < 0.001).

Conclusion The geometric mean of blood lead levels (26.9) in these children with occupationally exposed parents was nearly twice higher than that observed in the Centre region (14.7 mg/L) and similar to those obtained in the framework of the national monitoring blood lead levels in children in 2005–2007 (33.6 mg/L), which targets at-risk children. This confirms existence of exposure to lead in these children of workers in factories using lead.

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