Lead, erythrocyte protoporphyrin, and ferritin levels in cord blood.Arch Environ Health. 1983 Sep-Oct; 38(5):296-300.AE
A pilot study was initiated to examine cord blood from approximately 300 newborns of various ethnic groups from two New York City hospitals for lead (Pb), erythrocyte protoporphyrin (EP), ferritin (FRT), and hemoglobin (Hb) levels during 1979 and 1980. Results showed an overall mean Pb level of 8 +/- 4 micrograms/dl, EP level of 61 +/- 26 micrograms/dl [geometric mean (GM) = 66.36], FRT level of 165 +/- 107 ng/ml (GM = 135.99), and a distribution frequency of Hb with nearly 69% between 13.5 and 16.9 g % (mean +/- standard deviation = 15 +/- 1), 20% below 13.4 g % (12 +/- 2 g %), and 11% at or above 17.0 g % (18 +/- 1 g %). Both EP and FRT showed a bimodal distribution. There was a negative correlation between blood EP and plasma FRT levels that was significant at the .03% level. The study also showed that a significant drop in mean cord blood Pb levels occurred compared with earlier studies. Follow up of newborns with mildly elevated Pb and EP levels should be made and screening of mothers for Pb levels during early pregnancy should constitute a part of prenatal care, particularly for those from urban areas with previously demonstrated environmental Pb hazard.