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Public Health Reports: Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Infants and Children in Haiti, 2015

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Drs. Chris Carpenter, Brittany Potts, Xinshu She, Alan D. Woolf, and Judith Palfrey of Boston Children’s Hospital, Drs. Julia von Oettingen, Ric Bonnell, and Michele Sainvil, Ms. Viviane Lorgeat, and Ms. Mie Christine Mascary of Kay Mackenson Center, Dr. Eddy Jean-Baptiste of Fondation Haïtienne de Diabéte et de Maladies Cardio-Vasculaires, and Dr. Sean Palfrey of Boston Medical Center looked at the frequency of elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs) among healthy Haitian children. From March 1 through June 30, 2015, children aged 9 months to 6 years from 3 geographic areas in Haiti were enrolled in the study. Information on household income, potential sources of lead exposure, anthropometric measurements, and finger stick blood lead levels (BLL) were obtained from 273 children at 6 Haitian churches. Results showed higher BLL levels in the mountain area of Haiti and elevated BLLs in 65.9 percent of the children observed. Significant risk factors included living in the mountain area and exposure to improperly discarded batteries. The authors concluded that public health interventions are needed to protect Haitian children from getting lead poisoning.

Full article

Public Health Reports (PHR) is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. The journal is peer-reviewed and publishes original research, reviews, and commentaries in the areas of public health practice and methodology, original research, public health law, and teaching at schools and programs of public health schools and teaching.”It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. PHR’s mission is to facilitate the movement of science into public health practice and policy to positively affect the health and wellness of the American public.

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