Prevalence of Blood Lead among Children Living in Battery Recycling Communities in Greater Jakarta, Indonesia.

Affiliation

Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas of Indonesia, Depok 16424, Indonesia. [Email]

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the prevalence of blood lead levels (BLLs) among children 1 to 5 years old who reside near and distant to informally used lead-acid battery (ULAB) recycling locations and examine risk factors for elevated BLLs. A cross-sectional study was conducted in three greater Jakarta neighborhoods where informal ULAB recycling occurs. Venous BLLs among 279 children were analyzed using portable blood lead testing machines. Demographic, child activities, and sources of lead exposure inside and outside homes were assessed. Multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate factors associated with the prevalence of BLLs. Forty-seven percent of children had BLLs ≥ 5 µg/dL and 9% had BLLs ≥ 10 µg/dL. No differences in geometric mean BLLs were observed between children who lived near and distant to ULAB locations. Older child age groups [Prevalence Ratio (PR) 2.14, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.16, 4.18) and low household income (PR 1.58, 95% CI 1.03, 2.40) were associated with BLLs 5-9 µg/dL. Low educational attainment of the child's father (PR 3.17, 95% CI 1.23, 8.16) and frequent outdoor child activity (PR 4.93, 95% CI 1.09, 22.21) were predictors of BLLs ≥ 10 µg/dL. This study shows the association between lead exposure among children and environmental sources. Public health officials can consider expanded surveillance, health care provider education, and development of strategies to reduce lead exposure.

Keywords

Indonesia,Jakarta,battery recycling,child,environment,lead,