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Medical Practice

Lead Intoxication in Children in Birmingham

Br Med J 1973; 1 doi: (Published 17 February 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;1:402

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. P. R. Betts,
  2. R. Astley,
  3. D. N. Raine


    Of 38 children investigated between 1966 and 1971 who had a blood lead concentration greater than 37 μg/100 ml eight had encephalopathy and one died; all these eight had a blood lead concentration of 99 μg/100 ml or above. Blood lead levels are related to haemoglobin concentrations and anaemia is common in children with blood lead concentrations of 37-60 μg/100 ml, levels previously accepted as harmless.

    Children with blood lead concentrations greater than 60 μg/100 ml show radiological evidence of lead intoxication, and treatment for this should be considered when blood lead concentration exceeds 37 μg/100 ml. Children presenting with unexplained encephalopathy should be radiographed for evidence of lead intoxication.

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