Journal 12, December 1999pages: 250-253
Background: Prenatal lead exposure (umbilical cord blood lead concentration 10 (μg/dl) may impair cognitive development. Childhood lead poisoning is infrequent in Israel, and there are no data on lead exposure in immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union.
Objectives: To evaluate prenatal blood lead concentrations in Israeli newborns whose mothers were born in Israel and in those whose mothers recently immigrated from Russia, and to compare data of prenatal lead exposure in Israel with those reported from other countries.
Methods: We compared the UCBLC of 35 newborns of new immigrants from Russia with a group of 35 newborns whose mothers were born in Israel. Venous BLC was also measured in 50 mothers. Data are compared with similar reports on prenatal lead exposure internationally.
Results: The UCBLC in all 70 newborns (mean±SD) was 3.53±1.6 μg/dl, and mothers' BLC (mean±SD) was 3.90±1.39 μg/dl. UCBLC and BLC in the 50 mother-newborn pairs correlated (γ=0.36, P<0.01). All newborns except one had UCBLC<8.0 μg/dl. There was no significant difference between UCBLC in the two groups.
Conclusions: Prenatal lead exposure among the study subjects in both groups was low. In this sample the newborns of mothers born in Israel and those whose mothers recently immigrated from Russia were not found to be at risk for lead poisoning. Prenatal lead exposure in this sample was low compared to that reported from various parts of the world.