Environmental determinants of different blood lead levels in children: a quantile analysis from a nationwide survey

Publié le 1 Janvier 2015
Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2019

Blood Lead Levels (BLLs) have dramatically decreased in recent decades in 1 to 6 years old children in France. This decline is concurrent to the stop of use of leaded gasoline. Because no toxicological threshold is known, further reducing exposure is a public health goal. To update prevention strategies, it is important to identify new risk factors at current BLLs for both low and elevated BLLs. We aimed to estimate the effects of environmental determinants for different BLLs in children in France. Methods : we enrolled 484 children aged from 6 months to 6 years, in a nationwide cross-sectional survey in 2008-2009 in France. We collected data on social, housing and individual characteristics. We measured lead concentrations in blood and environmental samples (water, soils, household settled dusts, paints, cosmetics and traditional dishes). We performed two models: a multivariate generalized additive model on the geometric mean (GM), and a quantile regression model on the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentile of BLLs. Both models took into account the sampling design. Results : the GM of BLLs was 13.8 Œg/L (95% Confidence Intervals (CI): 12.7-14.9) and the percentile 90 was 25.7 Œg/L (CI: 24.2-29.5). Household and common area dusts, tap water, interior paints, ceramics cookware, traditional cosmetics, playground soil and dust, environmental tobacco smoke were associated to GM of BLLs. Household dust and tap water were the major contributors of both GM and 90th quantile of BLLs. Lead in dust increased all quantiles of BLLs without threshold and the higher the BLLs were, the higher the effect of lead in household settled dust was. Lead concentrations in tap water above 5 "g/L increased also the GM, 75th and 90th quantiles of BLLs among consumers. Conclusions : to reduce children's BLLs in France, prevention actions must target household settled dust and tap water. Use of traditional cosmetics should be avoided while ceramics cookware use should be limited to decorative purposes.

Auteur : Etchevers A, Le Tertre A, Lucas JP, Bretin P, Oulhote Y, Le Bot B, Glorennec P
Environment international, 2015, vol. 74, p. 152-9