This study aimed to identify socio-ecologic variables contributing to lead poisoning among children in suburban regions of Nigeria. We surveyed 306 children and their families to determine the statistical association between specific social ecological factors and measured blood lead levels (BLL). The BLL among children (< 6 years old) ranged from 2.1 to 31.8mg/dl (mean = 9.4 mg/dL; SD = 4.2), with 35% of the children exhibiting a BLL > 10 mg/dL. Mean BLL was significantly associated with household size, maternal literacy, parental occupation, home floor type, time spent outside the home, residential proximity to a ceramics shop, and by parental employment in a print shop (p < 0.05), but not with age, years of parental education, housing situation, drinking water, and frequency of hand-to-mouth behavior. Although gasoline remains the main source of environmental lead, occupational circumstances also contribute to the predisposition of children to high exposures.
Key words: Lead (Pb) poisoning, cottage industry, exposure assessment, maternal literacy, ceramics manufacturing, printing shop, Leaded gasoline, children, Africa, Nigeria.
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