Relation between pica and blood lead in areas of differing lead exposure.
Gallacher JE., Elwood PC., Phillips KM., Davies BE., Jones DT.
Surveys were conducted in four areas in Wales with differing degrees of environmental lead. In two areas the source of the lead was traffic and in one it was spoil from lead mining in the past. The fourth area, which served as a control, was a village remote from heavy traffic, industry, and lead mining. Various environmental samples were taken, and children aged 1-3 years and their mothers were studied. Blood lead concentrations were raised in the lead mining area, and within the areas defined by traffic flow the blood lead concentrations of the mothers showed a gradient. Pica in the children, assessed by a questionnaire, showed no relation with blood lead, but the amount of lead removed from the children's hands with 'wet wipes' was an important contributor to blood lead concentrations.