Environmental Lead Exposure among Primary School Children in Shebin El-Kom District, Menoufiya Governorate, Egypt

GM Abdel Rasoul, MA Al-Batanony, OA Mahrous, ME Abo-Salem, HM Gabr


Background: Lead still remains an important problem for poor, inner-city, ethnic minority children, with a particular emphasis on lead paint and dust. In Egypt, there is no national survey about the prevalence of elevated blood lead level among children.

Objective: To assess the environmental lead level as well as to determine blood lead level among primary school children and find out its relationship with their intelligent quotient (IQ), hemoglobin level, hearing impairment and school performance.

Methods: 190 primary school children from rural and urban areas were selected and their blood lead levels (BLL), hemoglobin concentrations, IQ, hearing threshold and school performance were measured. Also, environmental lead level was measured in the school and home.

Results: The mean value of environmental lead (μg/m3) in urban schools air was significantly higher than that in rural areas. BLL had a significant negative correlation with hemoglobin level and IQ; it was positively correlated with the hearing threshold. With increasing BLL, the school performance of children decreased significantly.

Conclusion: Exposure to lead would deteriorate IQ, school performance and hearing level of school children. Even in the absence of overt clinical manifestations of lead toxicity, lead intoxication should be among differential diagnosis in children presenting anemia, intellectual impairment, poor academic performance and hearing impairment.


Lead; Lead poisoning; Hearing loss; Intelligence test; Anemia; Learning; Students

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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