Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Infants and Mothers in Benin and Potential Sources of Exposure.

Lead in childhood is well known to be associated with poor neurodevelopment. As part of a study on maternal anemia and offspring neurodevelopment, we analyzed blood lead level (BLL) with no prior knowledge of lead exposure in 225 mothers and 685 offspring 1 to 2 years old from Allada, a semi-rural area in Benin, sub-Saharan Africa, between May 2011 and May 2013. Blood samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Environmental assessments in households and isotopic ratio measurements were performed for eight children with BLL > 100 microg/L. High lead levels (BLL > 50 microg/L) were found in 44% of mothers and 58% of children. The median BLL was 55.1 (interquartile range 39.2-85.0) and 46.6 (36.5-60.1) microg/L, respectively. Maternal BLL was associated with offspring's consumption of piped water and animals killed by ammunition. Children's BLL was associated with presence of paint chips in the house and consumption of animals killed by ammunition. In this population, with 98% of children still breastfed, children's BLL was highly associated with maternal BLL on multivariate analyses. Environmental measures and isotopic ratios supported these findings. Offspring may be highly exposed to lead in utero and probably via breastfeeding in addition to lead paint exposure.
Authors (Zotero)
Bodeau-Livinec, Florence; Glorennec, Philippe; Cot, Michel; Dumas, Pierre; Durand, Severine; Massougbodji, Achille; Ayotte, Pierre; Le Bot, Barbara
Date (Zotero)
Marzo, 2016