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Maternal low-level lead exposure and fetal growth.

Despite the banning of lead in gasoline, the general population continues to be exposed to this metal. Lead in pregnant women can readily cross the placenta and enter fetal blood circulation, making the fetus susceptible to lead poisoning. Evidence for an association between relatively low-level maternal blood lead (PbB) levels (< 10 [micro]g/dL) and fetal growth has been inconclusive. Zhu et al. (p. 1471) linked New York State Heavy Metals Registry records of women having PbB measurements with birth certificates to identify mother-infant pairs in a retrospective cohort study. The authors found no significant association between PbB and preterm birth or small-for-gestational age measures. However, among pregnant women with PbB levels < 10 [micro]g/dL, PbB was inversely associated with birth weight, with little evidence of a threshold. These results are important because pregnant women continue to be exposed to relatively low levels of lead and because of the continued controversy regarding the recommended action level for maternal blood lead.

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Title Annotation:CHILDREN'S HEALTH
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2010
Words:161
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