Cord Blood Lead Levels in Newborns

Authors: Eren ÖZEK, Hülya BİLGEN, Zeynep İNCE, Altan YALÇINKAYA, Nural BEKİROĞLU, Müjdat BAŞARAN

Abstract: Lead is ubiquitous in the human environment as a result of industrialization and children are particularly susceptible to leadÕs toxic effects. Several investigators have reported the relationship between low-level lead exposure and prematurity, altered fetal growth and postnatal neurobehavioral development. The current status of lead exposure is not well defined in Turkey. We present the preliminary results of a study in which we measured cord blood lead levels of 145 newborns. Cord blood lead levels were between 10 and 19.9 µg/dl in 14% and above 20µg/dl in 10% of the study population. Although we were unable to show any effect of these levels on the incidence of preterm deliveries, intrauterine growth status and the rate of miscarriages, further prospective studies are required to show the long-term effects of low-level lead exposure.

Keywords: Newborn, cord blood, lead.