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Children and Lead

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(3):425. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110280155031.
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To the Editor.—I read with considerable interest the article by Dr. Barltrop in the February issue of the Journal (127:165, 1974). The article appears to be an excellent evaluation of current thinking about environmental sources of lead. However, the author states that the very diversity of the studies in progress has a negative aspect in that it tends to divert attention from the continuing problems of lead-based paint in the home. Lead paint remains the major lead hazard for children and is virtually the only source of lead associated with symptomatic poisoning.

Some very recently available evidence suggests that other sources of lead besides paint chips may contribute significantly to the daily ingestion of the 1,000μg of lead that Barltrop indicates is sufficient to cause symptomatic lead poisoning if ingestion continues for several months.

Colored printed matter (especially reds, yellows, oranges, and greens) has recently been shown to contain


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