The impact of drinking water, indoor dust and paint on blood lead levels of children aged 1-5 years in Montréal (Québec, Canada)
Lead is neurotoxic at very low dose and there is a need to better characterize the impact of domestic sources of lead on the biological exposure of young children. A cross-sectional survey evaluated the contribution of drinking water, house dust and paint to blood lead levels (BLLs) of young children living in old boroughs of Montréal (Canada). Three hundred and six children aged 1 to 5 years and currently drinking tap water participated in the study. For each participant, residential lead was measured in kitchen tap water, floor dust, windowsill dust and house paint and a venous blood sample was analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between elevated BLL in the children (≥ 75th percentile) and indoor lead contamination by means of odds ratios (OR) using 95% confidence intervals (CI). There was an association between BLL ≥75th percentile (1.78 μg/dL) and water lead when the mean water concentration was >3.3 μg/L: adjusted OR=4.7 (95% CI: 2.1-10.2). Windowsill dust loading >14.1 μg/ft(2) was also associated with BLL ≥1.78 μg/dL: adjusted OR=3.2 (95% CI: 1.3-7.8). Despite relatively low BLLs, tap water and house dust lead contribute to an increase of BLLs in exposed young children.