Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1986;12(2):114-120    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2169

Decreased blood lead levels in residents of Stockholm for the period 1980-1984.

by Elinder CG, Friberg L, Lind B, Nilsson B, Svartengren M, Overmark I

A number of measures have been taken to decrease the spread of lead to ambient air and food. In a study of the effect of these and other preventive measures, blood samples from approximately 100 persons living in the inner city area of Stockholm were collected and analyzed for lead content on three different occasions, in 1980, 1983, and 1984. The same subjects were examined on at least two occasions and the analytical method, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, was carefully controlled by means of reference samples on each occasion. The blood lead levels decreased during the observation period. The average blood lead concentrations for all the examined persons were 0.37, 0.26, and 0.25 mumol/l for 1980, 1983, and 1984, respectively. The mean of the differences in individual blood lead levels for 1980 and 1984 was 0.12 mumol/l. This figure corresponds to an average decrease in blood lead of 34% for all the subjects examined in 1980. The decrease occurred mainly during the period 1980-1983 (mean 0.11 mumol/l) and, thereafter, was only slight for the period 1983-1984 (mean 0.01 mumol/l). Factors such as age, sex, and change of residence during the observation period did not influence the final results.