Blood Lead Levels (BLL) of Children in Various Countries

 

Country

Date

BLL (median)

BLL>10 µg/dL

South Africa1

2002

11.9 µg/dL

78%

Jamaica2Rural areas
Urban areas contaminated area,
the site of a former lead ore
processing plant

2000

9.2 µg/dL16.6 µg/dL35 µg/dL*

42%71%-

India – 1852 urban children3

1999

-

51.4%[12.6%>20µg/dL]

China4

2004

9.29 µg/dL

33.8%

USA5

1999-2002

1.6 µg/dL

-

Europe/Urban area6

N/A

-

0.1 – 30.2%

Australia7

1996

5.8 µg/dL

7.3%

* reduced now by implementation of mitigation strategies 1 Mathee et al., 2002; 2 Lalor et al., 2001; 3 George Foundation, 1999 4 Wang and Zhang, 2004; 5 CDC, 2005; 6 WHO, 2004; 7 Donovan 1996

 

It is salutary, to reflect on just how much lead is in a "modern" human, and how badly poisoned some people are, compared to humans of earlier times. Henry Falk’s Case Study of Lead Poisoning (Falk, 2003), reports that people living right next to backyard smelters, mines or shops where lead acid batteries are repaired, typically have a higher blood lead level than 10µg/dL (Falk, 2003). The results of a study by Wang Sun-qin, Zhang Jin-liang in 2004 showed that blood lead levels among Chinese children are very high and are considered to be one potential environmental risk factor for children’s development (Wang and Zhang, 2004).