Prevalence of hair lead level in kindergarten students in Hong Kong

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Prevalence of hair lead level in kindergarten students in Hong Kong


Author: Chan, Wing-sze
Title: Prevalence of hair lead level in kindergarten students in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Lead poisoning in children -- China -- Hong Kong.
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: x, 175 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: This study reports hair lead levels measured in 210 children (108 male, 102 female, aged 4-6) from four kindergartens in Hong Kong. Hair lead concentration was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The mean values of the hair lead levels of all children were 1.4669 +- 0.1041 ug/g (range: 0.0708 - 7.5563 ug/g). The aims of the study were to correlate any sources or risk factors for lead exposure with hair lead level of children and set up a lead screening program to identify high risk group of children. A lead poisoning risk assessment questionnaire was completed by parents to gather informations about socio-demographic data and risk factors for lead exposure of the children. A demographic factor associated with elevated hair lead levels was low household income. Household exposure to smoking, diet low in calcium and mouthing behaviors were found to be the important risk factors for the high hair lead levels. Therefore, non-invasive collection of hair samples for analysis can be an indicative method of screening childhood lead poisoning. The high risk group of children can be initially screened by hair analysis, then further diagnosed by blood testing. Any follow up or treatment can then be provided for children as soon as possible. The goal of setting up a lead screening program is to provide the most convenient and efficient way to identify children who may have high lead exposure.

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