According to a study just published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology this measure prevented childhood lead poisoning and reduced the overall burden of lead toxicity in children. Historically, the city had used an approach that waited until a child tested positive for lead poisoning, and then addressed home lead hazards to prevent future harm.
"Our data provide evidence that a program of prenatal home screening and lead hazard remediation is effective," reports lead author Daniel R. Berg, MD, MPH, of the Department of Internal Medicine, Family Care Health Centers, St. Louis, Missouri. "Children not only had a lower rate of poisoning, but also a lower average blood lead level. This is significant, since decreased intelligence in children is observed at blood lead levels below the government definition of lead poisoning, and no safe threshold of lead exposure in children has been found."
The Heavy Metal Project targeted the homes of pregnant women from a clinic primarily serving African-American women on Medicaid to receive prenatal home inspection and remediation of lead hazards. Home inspections were conducted by certified inspectors, and when lead was found, remediation efforts included paint stabilization, window replacement, and cleaning. Blood lead levels were obtained from 60 children. The average blood lead level among participants was 2.70 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) versus 3.63 µg/dL for controls. Blood lead levels greater than 5 µg/dL were found in 13.3% of study participants and 22.5% of controls.
A recent study in Philadelphia that screened and remediated newborns' homes did not show similar results. However, 62.5% of the homes in the St. Louis study underwent remediation, while only 28.2% of the homes in Philadelphia did. The control population in St. Louis was older at the time of blood testing, and St. Louis possibly has a riskier housing environment.
The authors note that ideally, cities would be able to correct lead hazards in all available housing, but this is not financially possible. "Long term solutions will only be possible with well-designed public policies which make use of both private and public monies for building repair, demolition, creation of new affordable housing developments, and targeted home screenings such as the one in our study," says Dr. Berg.
Obstetricians should refer high-risk patients for prenatal home lead hazard screening and remediation, the authors recommend. "Philosophically, this screening is similar to screening pregnancies for potential complications, and newborns for congenital metabolic diseases. Lead poisoning, however, is more prevalent than many disorders," Dr. Berg notes. "Neonatal screening can detect a treatable disease in 1 of 800 newborns, but screening the homes of pregnant women for lead hazards can prevent lead poisoning in 1 of 27 children in the City of St. Louis."
Francesca Costanzo | EurekAlert!
New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy