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Childhood blood lead levels must be upgraded: Australian researchers

11-05-2012 15:17 BJT

CANBERRA, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Australian researchers are calling for an upgrading of national guidelines on lead levels in the blood of children, according to the latest Medical Journal of Australia on Monday.

Researchers estimated almost 100,000 children could be affected by lead in blood.

The Australian standard, set in 1993, mirrors the World Health Organization guideline of 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. But experts said these guidelines must be updated urgently in light of new figures based on analysis of the United States exposure rates and published in the latest issue of the magazine.

In a letter to the magazine, Mark Taylor of Sydney's Macquarie University, Chris Winder of the Australian Catholic University in Sydney and Bruce Lanphear of Canada's Simon Fraser University, say 100,000 Australian children aged up to four could have blood lead levels linked to health problems, including behavioral problems and low IQ.

According to their research, "new and overwhelming evidence indicates that even levels below 5 micrograms per deciliter are associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, including decreased intelligence and academic achievement, sociobehavioral problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning difficulties, oppositional and conduct disorders and delinquency."


Editor:Lu Jiaying |Source: Xinhua

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