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Submitted: 30 March 2017 Modified: 19 April 2017
HERDIN Record #: PCHRD17033020342647

Alluvial and riparian soils as major sources of lead exposure in young children in the Philippines: The role of floods.

1EM Ostrea,
2AM Ostrea,
3ME Villanueva-Uy,
4L Chiodo,
5J Janisse
Department of Pediatrics - Hutzel Women's Hospital,
Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics - Children's Hospital of Michigan - Wayne State University


The objective of this paper was to determine the prevalence and sources of high lead (Pb) exposure among children in Bulacan, Philippines. A total of 150 children (6-7 years old) and their caregivers were studied. Lead was analyzed in children hair and deciduous teeth. Sources of lead exposure were determined by caregiver interview and Pb analysis of house soil, drinking faucet water, air, and water from seven Bulacan rivers. Lead was positive in 91.3% of children's hair (MC or median concentration = 8.9 μg/g; range = 0-38.29), in 46.2% of the teeth (MC = 0.000 μg/mg in positive samples; range = 0.00-0.020), in 100% of soil (MC = 27.06 mg/kg; range = 3.05-1155.80), in 21.1% of air (MC = 0 μg/Ncm; range = 0-0.10), in 4% of house, faucet water (MC = 0.0 ppm; range = 0-40). There was a significant correlation (Spearman's rho) between Pb in children's hair and soil (r = 0.195; p = 0.017) and between Pb in house water and outdoor air (r = 0.616; p = 0.005). There is no significant correlation between Pb in children's hair and teeth. None of the potential sources of Pb from interview were related to lead exposure in the children. Water from seven Bulacan rivers was 100% positive for lead (MC = 70.00 ppb; range = 30-90). Widespread flooding with river overflow occurred in Bulacan in 2009 which likely caused lead contamination of the soil. There was no significant difference in the lead concentration of the soil whether near or far from the river (p = 0.205, Mann-Whitney U test). High lead exposure in children in Bulacan is likely from soil contaminated by lead-polluted rivers during flooding. In areas where flooding is common, alluvial and riparian soils from polluted rivers are important sources of lead exposure in children.

Publication Type:
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Publication Date:
April 2015
Landsberg, Germany : Ecomed
2013-: Berlin : Springer

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U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMed/Medline Abstract External Link (View)