Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Follow-up of Elevated Blood Lead Levels and Sources in a Cohort of Children in Benin

Version 1 : Received: 2 October 2020 / Approved: 6 October 2020 / Online: 6 October 2020 (10:55:42 CEST)

How to cite: Ahmadi, S.; Le Bot, B.; Zoumenou, R.; Durand, S.; Fiévet, N.; Ayotte, P.; Massougbodji, A.; Alao, J.; Cot, M.; Glorennec, P.; Bodeau-livinec, F. Follow-up of Elevated Blood Lead Levels and Sources in a Cohort of Children in Benin. Preprints 2020, 2020100119 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0119.v1). Ahmadi, S.; Le Bot, B.; Zoumenou, R.; Durand, S.; Fiévet, N.; Ayotte, P.; Massougbodji, A.; Alao, J.; Cot, M.; Glorennec, P.; Bodeau-livinec, F. Follow-up of Elevated Blood Lead Levels and Sources in a Cohort of Children in Benin. Preprints 2020, 2020100119 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0119.v1).

Abstract

Lead exposure is associated with poor cognitive development in children. Very few studies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have studied blood lead levels (BLLs) and non-gasoline sources of exposure in children. Data from a birth cohort in Benin (2011-2013) suggested that 58% of one-year-old children had BLLs > 50 ug/L. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of elevated BLLs (>50 µg/L and >100 µg /L) among 425 of these children at six-years-of-age in 2016-18 and to compare BLLs between age one-year and six-years and study sources of lead at six years. BLLs were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Multiple linear regression and quantile regressions were used to study potential sources of lead. The prevalence of BLLs >50 µg/L in children was 59.5% [Geometric Mean (GM) 56.4 µg/L, 95% CI: 54.1 - 58.7] at six years of age compared to 54.8% [GM 56.5 µg/L, 95% CI: 53.4-59.6] at one year of age. The prevalence of children with BLLs >100 µg/L decreased from 14.4% at one year of age to 8.2% at six years of age. After adjustment for all other covariates, consumption of peanut more than once per month was significantly associated with a 22.0% (95% CI: 4.6, 42.5) increment in BLLs at six years compared with no consumption. Consumption of bushmeat killed by lead bullets at six years was associated with an increase in the higher percentiles of BLLs (P75) compared with the absence of this source. Other potential sources of lead associated with BLLs with marginal significance were consumption of rice, paternal occupational exposure, and the presence of activity with the potential use of lead. This prospective cohort confirms the persistently high prevalence of elevated BLLs in children residing in a rural region in the south of Benin as well as the presence of multiple and continuous sources of lead. These results highlight the need for prevention programs to reduce and eliminate lead exposure in children.

Subject Areas

Lead poisoning; environmental health; toxic metals; sub-Saharan Africa; environmental exposure

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