Objectives: This study was designed to explore whether parental activities such as repairing cars, welding, and rebuilding car batteries are risk factors for lead poisoning among Cuban refugee children in Miami-Dade County.
Methods: The authors performed a cross-sectional study of 479 children aged 12-83 months who had lived in Cuba during the six months prior to immigrating to the U.S. Lead levels were obtained, and parents provided information on demographics, home/neighborhood environment in Cuba prior to immigration, family/occupational factors prior to immigration, and child behavior factors.
Results: Of 479 children, 30 (6.3%) had elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs), defined as > or = 10 microg/dL, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention action level. In multivariate analysis, racial/ethnic identification other than white, living in a home built after 1979, car repair in the home or yard, eating paint chips, and male sex were independently associated with EBLL.
Conclusions: Risk factors for lead poisoning among immigrant children may differ from those among U.S.-born children. Screening of immigrant children who may have been exposed in their country of origin and education of immigrant parents about lead exposure hazards associated with activities such as car repair should be considered in the design of lead poisoning prevention and control programs.