Lead poisoning among internally displaced Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children in the United Nations-Administered Province of Kosovo

Mary Jean Brown, Gerry McWeeney, Rokho Kim, Ardita Tahirukaj, Petar Bulat, Skender Syla, Zoran Savic, Amitai Yona, Timothy Dignam, Dorit Nitzan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study assessed the association between lead poisoning prevention activities and blood lead levels (BLLs) among children living in lead-contaminated camps for internally displaced persons in the United Nations-Administered Province of Kosovo. We conducted a population-based study to examine the relationship among geometric mean BLLs in children (i) born before any lead poisoning prevention activities were instituted, (ii) born when specific interim interventions were instituted and (iii) born after relocation and medical therapy were available. The study population consisted of 145 of the 186 children born in the camps between December 1999 and July 2007. Lower mean BLLs were found in children born following implementation of the interventions as compared with the children born before the interventions. However, this decrease in mean BLLs was attenuated in children born into families suspected of informal lead smelting. Despite lower BLLs following interventions, children living in these camps have BLLs that remain unacceptably high. Further efforts are urgently needed to control or eliminate lead exposure in this population. Continued blood lead monitoring of the population is also warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-292
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Blood lead levels
  • Childhood lead poisoning
  • Elevated blood lead levels
  • Lead
  • Lead mining and smelting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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