Children's health/regional collaboration to reduce lead exposure in children.As Safi et al. (2006) discussed, environmental contamination does not stop at international boundaries. An excellent example of a collaborative effort to address regional environmental exposures is that of the public health communities in Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority Palestinian Authority (PA) or Palestinian National Authority, interim self-government body responsible for areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under Palestinian control. to assess and limit lead exposure of young children. Their dedication to this project in the face of significant political upheavals and episodic violence has demonstrated a remarkable commitment among international public health colleagues to improve environmental public health.
Safi et al. (2006) underscored the three most important strategies to prevent lead exposure in young children. First, eliminate leaded gasoline. In countries where this strategy has been successfully implemented, blood lead levels have significantly decreased (Pirkle et al. 1994; Schnass et al. 2004). More than 50 nations have eliminated lead in gasoline, and many others will initiate phase-outs over the next few years (Landrigan 2002).
Second, identify other consequential sources of lead and take action to control or eliminate them. Smelting remains a prevalent hazard in many parts of the world (ATSDR ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry 1999). Efforts such as recycling batteries in controlled facilities have been successful in some countries.
Third, expand surveillance to ensure that recurrent or new sources of lead exposure are identified and that appropriate actions are taken. Both children and exposure sources travel. In the United States, we have found that the risk of lead exposure is much higher among immigrants when they arrive in the United States, usually as a result of use of lead-containing products; this elevated risk for exposure continues after immigrants relocate when the children are exposed to lead in paint and house dust (CDC See Control Data, century date change and Back Orifice.
CDC - Control Data Corporation 2005).
This collaborative project in the Middle East is an outstanding model for other international efforts to control environmental contaminants in complex regional settings. Safi et al. (2006) have shown tremendous vision, integrity, and commitment to public health under very difficult circumstances.
The authors declare they have no competing financial interests.
Mary Jean Brown
Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services health services Managed care The benefits covered under a health contract National Center for Environmental Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. Atlanta, Georgia
Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia
National Center for Environmental Health Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry The United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, (ATSDR) is an agency for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is directed by a congressional mandate to perform specific functions concerning the effect on public health of hazardous Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia
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Schnass L, Rothenberg SJ, Flores Flores, town, Guatemala
Flores (flōrəs), town (1990 est. pop. 2,200), capital of Petén department, N Guatemala. Flores was built on an island in the southern part of Lake Petén Itzá and on the site of the MF, Martinez S, Hernandez C, Osorio E, et al. 2004. Blood lead secular trend secular trend
The relatively consistent movement of a variable over a long period. A stock in a secular uptrend is an indicator that the security has experienced an extended period of rising prices. in a cohort of children in Mexico City (1987-2002). Environ Health Perspect 112:1110-1115.
Editor's note: In accordance with journal policy, Safi et al. were asked whether they wanted to respond to this letter, but they chose not to do so.