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Lead's reduced stature.

A study of 1,454 Mexican-American children indicates that too much lead in the bloodstream can hinder growth, report researchers who have analyzed data from the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The normal age-related increase in height "is decreased in children whose blood lead levels exceed the average," the investigators write in the September AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION. Although height reductions averaged about 0.4 inch, some children apparently lost up to an inch from lead -- "a really significant growth reduction," says A. Roberto Frisancho, a biological anthropologist at the University of Michigan's Center for Human Growth and Development in Ann Arbor.

Frisancho and Alan S. Ryan, of Ross Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio, classified each youngster's blood lead level as either above or below the average for U.S. children of the same age and gender. Although the federal Centers for Disease Control considers up to 30 micrograms per deciliter ([microgram]/dl) an "acceptable" lead level in children, the high-lead group in this study averaged only 50 to 58 percent of that concentration. Indeed, Frisancho told SCIENCE NEWS, stature-stunting effects appeared in children with blood lead levels as low as 10 [microgram]/dl-one-third the level previously reported to affect stature.
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Title Annotation:effects of lead on growth of Mexican-American children
Publication:Science News
Date:Sep 21, 1991
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Next Article:Wine: getting the lead out.

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