PERSONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISK FACTORS SIGNIFICANTLY ASSOCIATED WITH ELEVATED BLOOD LEAD LEVELS IN RURAL THAI CHILDREN.Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2014 Nov; 45(6):1492-502.SA
A community-based study was conducted to determine personal risk factors and environmental sources of lead exposure for elevated blood lead levels (≥ 10 µg/dl, EBLLs) among rural children living at the Thailand-Myanmar border in Tak Province, northwestern Thailand. Six hundred ninety-five children aged 1-14 years old were screened for BLLs. Environmental specimens for lead measurements included samples of water from the streams, taps, and household containers, house floor dust, and foods. Possible lead release from the cooking ware was determined using the leaching method with acetic acid. The overall prevalence of EBLLs was 47.1% and the geometric mean level of blood lead was 9.16 µg/dl. Personal risk factors significantly associated with EBLLs included being male, younger age, anemia, and low weight-for-age. Significant environmental risk factors were exposure to a lead-acid battery of solar energy system and use of a non-certified metal cooking pot. Some families whose children had high BLLs reported production of lead bullets from the used batteries at home. About one-third of the house dust samples taken near batteries contained lead content above the recommended value, compared with none of those taken from other areas and from the houses with no batteries. The metal pots were safe for cooking rice but might be unsafe for acidic food preparation. Both nutritional intervention and lead exposure prevention programs are essential to reduce EBLLs in this population.