Researchers studied that, babies born to women with high levels of lead in their bones face the same sort of developmental problems as babies exposed to lead from sources like old pain, researchers reported recently. In an article in the journal Pediatrics, they said this type of lead exposure "may constitute a significant public health problem, in view of the long residence time of lead in bone."
The findings demonstrated that protecting children from the serious risks posed by lead was still more complicated than believed. Doctors generally check for lead exposure in children by testing their blood, including that taken from the umbilical cord at birth.
AdvertisementPublic health experts concentrate on trying to reduce the presence of lead dust in homes and schools. But the study suggests that doctors may now need to figure out ways to protect children before birth, and that public officials need to do more to make sure, for example, that women are not exposed to lead in the workplace.
The study, based on examinations of 190 mothers and their babies in Mexico, found that high levels of lead in the women's bones at the time of birth corresponded to lower mental functioning of the children at age 2.Experts believe that lead builds up in the bones when people are exposed to the metal over a period of time. It can they stay in the bones for at least 15 years.
So their prediction is that even if women were exposed when they were teenagers, they would still be at risk well into their 20s and maybe 30s, as well. The may reach the foetus through a process called demineralization.