Home repair programs not helping lower lead levels in kids

May 2nd, 2008 - 4:17 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 2 (ANI): According to a new study, programs that promote household cleaning, home repairs and parental awareness of lead hazards are not effective at protecting children from exposure to this poison.

In the research, the scientists looked at interventions that attempted to reduce lead exposure for children and found that none that have been tried so far have been proven to be effective, said lead author Dr. Berlinda Yeoh, a pediatrician at Sydney Childrens Hospital in New South Wales, Australia.

Lead poisoning is an important health problem in children, Yeoh said.

Children regularly exposed to lead can experience lower intelligence test scores, behavior and growth problems, anemia, kidney damage and other physical, cognitive and behavioral impairments.

The most common cause of lead poisoning in children is ingestion of dust from old lead paint.

The reviewers examined 12 U.S. studies, which included 2,239 children 6 years and younger and their parents or caregivers.

Reviewers analyzed two types of interventions for parents: educational interventions, which emphasized teaching lead poisoning awareness and strategies for preventing dust and lead exposure at home; and environmental interventions, which involved making repairs, cleaning and painting to reduce home lead exposure.

Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

The reviewers found that educational programs for parents had no effect on childrens blood lead levels, which was also the case for environmental programs.

The reviewers also analyzed the effect of soil abatement, an environmental program that involves removing and replacing lead-contaminated soil around the home.

Two studies did show that soil abatement practices significantly reduced childrens blood lead levels, but there were not enough data to include in the final analysis and insufficient evidence to recommend these practices as effective, the authors said in the review.

Yeoh said that children might have other sources of lead exposure at day care or relatives homes, rendering home dust removal programs ineffective. She said it was possible that the interventions failed to remove all of the lead in the home or that lead dust within older homes quickly re-accumulated after cleaning.

The study is published in The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |