Childhood blood lead levels and intellectual development after ban of leaded gasoline in Taiwan: A 9-year prospective study

Po Chin Huang, Pen Hua Su, Hsin Yi Chen, Han Bin Huang, Jin Lian Tsai, Hsin I. Huang, Shu Li Wang

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Abstract

Background: Lead (Pb) exposure is associated with children's neurodevelopment, even at low doses. Leaded gasoline was banned in Taiwan in 2000 to reduce environmental exposure to Pb. Objectives: To evaluate the neurodevelopmental effect of low-level Pb exposure in young children. Methods: In 2001-2002, we have recruited 430 pregnant women in the third-trimester in Taichung, Taiwan who answered detailed questionnaires in the obstetric clinic. A total of 119, 76, and 66 children were followed up at 2-3, 5-6 and 8-9. years, respectively. We collected blood samples from pregnant women, Umbilical cord and children, and evaluated children's neurodevelopment and cognition function at all three time points using Bayley and Wechsler tests. Blood samples were analyzed for whole blood lead (BPb) levels. Results: Geometric mean of BPb in pregnant women, cord blood and children at 2-3, 5-6 and 8-9. years old were 2.21, 1.30, 2.48, 2.49 and 1.97μg/dl, respectively. Low-level postnatal Ln BPb was significantly associated with not only decreasing intelligence quotient (IQ), but also delayed cognitive function in children at 5-8. years (β: - 5.97, SE: 2.59, p = 0.025), after adjustment for maternal education, maternal BPb exposure, Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment Inventory (HOME), and gender of child, using linear mixed models. No significant relation was observed between prenatal and cord blood Pb levels and children's cognitive function in children 2-8. years. Conclusions: Low-level postnatal BPb levels in children at 2-5. years may have lagged effects on neurodevelopment in those at 5 to 8. years. Action is warranted to reduce even very low environmental Pb levels to reduce the developmental burden of Pb on children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-96
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironment International
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr

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blood
cognition
gender
education
exposure

Keywords

  • Blood lead
  • Children health
  • Gasoline
  • Intelligence quotient (IQ)
  • Postnatal exposure
  • Prenatal exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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Childhood blood lead levels and intellectual development after ban of leaded gasoline in Taiwan : A 9-year prospective study. / Huang, Po Chin; Su, Pen Hua; Chen, Hsin Yi; Huang, Han Bin; Tsai, Jin Lian; Huang, Hsin I.; Wang, Shu Li.

In: Environment International, Vol. 40, No. 1, 04.2012, p. 88-96.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Huang, Po Chin ; Su, Pen Hua ; Chen, Hsin Yi ; Huang, Han Bin ; Tsai, Jin Lian ; Huang, Hsin I. ; Wang, Shu Li. / Childhood blood lead levels and intellectual development after ban of leaded gasoline in Taiwan : A 9-year prospective study. In: Environment International. 2012 ; Vol. 40, No. 1. pp. 88-96.
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abstract = "Background: Lead (Pb) exposure is associated with children's neurodevelopment, even at low doses. Leaded gasoline was banned in Taiwan in 2000 to reduce environmental exposure to Pb. Objectives: To evaluate the neurodevelopmental effect of low-level Pb exposure in young children. Methods: In 2001-2002, we have recruited 430 pregnant women in the third-trimester in Taichung, Taiwan who answered detailed questionnaires in the obstetric clinic. A total of 119, 76, and 66 children were followed up at 2-3, 5-6 and 8-9. years, respectively. We collected blood samples from pregnant women, Umbilical cord and children, and evaluated children's neurodevelopment and cognition function at all three time points using Bayley and Wechsler tests. Blood samples were analyzed for whole blood lead (BPb) levels. Results: Geometric mean of BPb in pregnant women, cord blood and children at 2-3, 5-6 and 8-9. years old were 2.21, 1.30, 2.48, 2.49 and 1.97μg/dl, respectively. Low-level postnatal Ln BPb was significantly associated with not only decreasing intelligence quotient (IQ), but also delayed cognitive function in children at 5-8. years (β: - 5.97, SE: 2.59, p = 0.025), after adjustment for maternal education, maternal BPb exposure, Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment Inventory (HOME), and gender of child, using linear mixed models. No significant relation was observed between prenatal and cord blood Pb levels and children's cognitive function in children 2-8. years. Conclusions: Low-level postnatal BPb levels in children at 2-5. years may have lagged effects on neurodevelopment in those at 5 to 8. years. Action is warranted to reduce even very low environmental Pb levels to reduce the developmental burden of Pb on children.",
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AU - Su, Pen Hua

AU - Chen, Hsin Yi

AU - Huang, Han Bin

AU - Tsai, Jin Lian

AU - Huang, Hsin I.

AU - Wang, Shu Li

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AB - Background: Lead (Pb) exposure is associated with children's neurodevelopment, even at low doses. Leaded gasoline was banned in Taiwan in 2000 to reduce environmental exposure to Pb. Objectives: To evaluate the neurodevelopmental effect of low-level Pb exposure in young children. Methods: In 2001-2002, we have recruited 430 pregnant women in the third-trimester in Taichung, Taiwan who answered detailed questionnaires in the obstetric clinic. A total of 119, 76, and 66 children were followed up at 2-3, 5-6 and 8-9. years, respectively. We collected blood samples from pregnant women, Umbilical cord and children, and evaluated children's neurodevelopment and cognition function at all three time points using Bayley and Wechsler tests. Blood samples were analyzed for whole blood lead (BPb) levels. Results: Geometric mean of BPb in pregnant women, cord blood and children at 2-3, 5-6 and 8-9. years old were 2.21, 1.30, 2.48, 2.49 and 1.97μg/dl, respectively. Low-level postnatal Ln BPb was significantly associated with not only decreasing intelligence quotient (IQ), but also delayed cognitive function in children at 5-8. years (β: - 5.97, SE: 2.59, p = 0.025), after adjustment for maternal education, maternal BPb exposure, Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment Inventory (HOME), and gender of child, using linear mixed models. No significant relation was observed between prenatal and cord blood Pb levels and children's cognitive function in children 2-8. years. Conclusions: Low-level postnatal BPb levels in children at 2-5. years may have lagged effects on neurodevelopment in those at 5 to 8. years. Action is warranted to reduce even very low environmental Pb levels to reduce the developmental burden of Pb on children.

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KW - Postnatal exposure

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