[Environmental exposure to inorganic lead and neurobehavioural tests among adolescents living in the Sulcis-Iglesiente, Sardinia]. | Biowebspin
Giornale italiano di medicina del lavoro ed ergonomia. 2008 04 15

[Environmental exposure to inorganic lead and neurobehavioural tests among adolescents living in the Sulcis-Iglesiente, Sardinia].

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Carta P, Aru G, Carta L, Carta R, Casula F, Caracoi S, Biggio A, Ibba A, Flore C, Randaccio FS. Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Medicina del Lavoro, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Cittadella universitaria di Monserrato, Cagliari.
Abstract
In several recent studies blood lead levels below 100 microg/L have been associated with reduced neurocognitive capacities and neurobehavioural performances in children, with no clear evidence of the lowest "safe" level not associated to adverse effects on the CNS. We analyzed blood lead concentration and the results of 5 neurocognitive tests, two derived from the Swedish Performance Evaluating System (SPES) and three from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R), in 139 Sardinian adolescents living in Portoscuso, a town 2 Km far from a lead smelter, and in 72 age-matched students living in S. Antioco, a town about 15 Km far from the same smelter. The blood lead concentrations were lower than 100 microg/l in almost subjects, but, in average, significantly higher particularly among males, in the Portoscuso group compared to controls. The regression coefficients derived from the multivariate stepwise analysis, adjusted for the student's age and gender and for the educational and socio-economic level of parents, showed that reduced performances in neurocognitive test were significantly associated to increasing blood lead concentrations. According to previous our surveys in the same area and to the recent scientific literature on this topic, the present study suggests the need to further low the blood lead levels, considered by the U.S. CDC in 1991 as potentially "safe" for the children's CNS, to a threshold possibly < 50 microg/L.
PMID: 18409826

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