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. 2011 Aug;32(4):458-64.
doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2011.03.012. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

Association Between Lead Exposure From Electronic Waste Recycling and Child Temperament Alterations


Association Between Lead Exposure From Electronic Waste Recycling and Child Temperament Alterations

Junxiao Liu et al. Neurotoxicology. .


We aimed to evaluate the dose-dependent effects of lead exposure on temperament alterations in children from a primitive e-waste (obsolete electrical and electronic devices) recycling area in Guiyu of China and a control area (Chendian, China). Blood lead levels (BLL) might be correlated with temperament, health, and relevant factors that were evaluated through Parent Temperament Questionnaire (PTQ), physical examination, and residential questionnaires. We collected venipuncture blood samples from 303 children (aged 3-7 years old) between January and February 2008. Child BLL were higher in Guiyu than in Chendian (median 13.2 μg/dL, range 4.0-48.5 μg/dL vs. 8.2 μg/dL, 0-21.3 μg/dL) (P<0.01). Significant differences of mean scores in activity level (4.53±0.83 vs. 4.18±0.81), approach-withdrawal (4.62±0.85 vs. 4.31±0.89), and adaptability (4.96±0.73 vs. 4.67±0.83) were found between Guiyu and Chendian children (all P<0.01). High BLL (BLL≥10μg/dL) child had higher mean scores of approach-withdrawal when compared with those children with low BLL (BLL<10 μg/dL) (4.61±0.87 vs. 4.30±0.88, P<0.01). Location of child residence in Guiyu, and parents engagement in work related to e-waste were the risk factors related to child BLL, activity level, approach-withdrawal, adaptability, and mood. Child hand washing prior to food consumption was a protected factor for BLL and several dimensions. There are close relationships between BLL elevation, temperament alteration and the e-waste recycling activities in Guiyu. Primitive e-waste recycling may threaten the health of children by increasing BLL and altering children temperament, although the exposure to other toxicants needs to be examined in future studies.

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