Environmental exposure to lead and its correlation with biochemical indices in children.Sci Total Environ. 2005 Jun 15; 346(1-3):48-55.ST
Lead is a global concern because of its ubiquity in the environment and known to be associated with abnormal neurobehavioral and cognitive development of young children. There is no study from India to describe a composite profile of blood lead and its biochemical influences in children. The present study was aimed at determining the proportion of children with >10 mug/dL blood lead levels (BLLs), association between BLLs, and sociodemographic characteristics, if any, and alterations in biochemical indices in the blood as an underlying mechanism of lead intoxication. A total of 62 children (4--12 y) of Lucknow and nearby areas were recruited to determine BLLs, delta-amimolevulinic acid dehydratase (delta-ALAD) activity, catalase (CAT) activity, and malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) levels in the blood. Mean level of blood lead was 7.47+/-3.06 microg/dL (2.78--15.0) and 29%-exceeded 10 microg/dL, CDC intervention level. The BLLs were found to be significantly influenced by social status, area of residence, source of water supply, maternal educational status (p<0.001), type of house, and proximity to traffic density (p<0.01). delta-ALAD was significantly lower in the group of children with BLLs 11.39+/-1.39 microg/dL when compared to children with BLLs 7.11+/-1.25 microg/dL and 3.93+/-0.61 microg/dL (p=0.0007, 0.0005, respectively). However, CAT activity was higher in the groups of children with higher blood levels than with lower BLLs (p=0.0159, 0.0001, respectively). There was an increase in MDA level with a concomitant decrease of GSH in children with BLLs 11.39+/-1.39 microg/dL compared with those of children with BLLs 7.11+/-1.25 microg/dL and 3.93+/-0.61 microg/dL (p=0.0001, 0.0002, and p=0.0001, respectively). There was statistically significant correlation of BLLs with delta-ALAD (r=-0.44, p=0.00035), MDA (r=0.46, p=0.00018), GSH (r=-0.62, p=0.00001), and CAT (r=0.44, p=0.00035). Significantly, CAT activity, MDA, and GSH levels were in turn, found to be correlated with delta-ALAD (r=-0.45, p=0.00024; r=-0.43, p=0.00053; r=0.43, p=0.00053, respectively). Results of the present study indicate a declining trend of BLLs in children when compared with those reported from metropolitan cities of India when leaded gasoline was in practice and that the BLLs were significantly associated with biochemical indices in the blood which have the potential to be used as biomarkers of lead intoxication.