Objectives: No current data is available on plumbism in Morocco. We conducted this work to evaluate blood lead levels in inhabitants of the Rabat region.
Patients and methods: The study included 385 subjects, 300 men and 85 women, age range 18-55 years, who were volunteer blood donors at the Rabat blood bank. All subjects responded to a short questionnaire concerning type of lodging cigarette smoking, occupation. Blood lead levels were assayed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICPMS).
Results: Mean blood lead levels for all subjects was 86.9 +/- 42.1 micrograms/l (92.9 +/- 51.7 micrograms/l for men and 80.9 +/- 32.6 micrograms/l for women). Blood lead levels increased more rapidly with age in women than in men. Levels in subjects who lived in residential urban areas were lower than those living in the old Arab center. Levels were higher in smokers than in non-smokers and in subjects with an employment than in those without.
Conclusion: Mean blood lead levels in the Rabat region are similar to those currently observed in other countries where this same type of study has been conducted. Similar factors are associated with high mean blood lead levels.