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Hazards of 'Deleading' Homes of Children With Lead Poisoning

Yona Amitai, MD; John W. Graef, MD; Mary Jean Brown, RN; Robert S. Gerstle, MD; Nancy Kahn, MD; Paul E. Cochrane, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(7):758-760. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460070060024.
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• "Deleading" the homes of children with lead poisoning is a necessary step to terminate the child's exposure to lead. Lead poisoning as a result of lead exposure during the process of deleading has occurred in deleading workers but has not been well documented among children whose homes are deleaded. We treated four children with classes I through III lead poisoning (range of blood lead [Pb-B] level, 1.6 to 2.75 μmol/L [33 to 57 μg/dL]) who had significant elevation of their Pb-B levels (range, peak 4.34 to 6.27 μmol/L [90 to 130 μg/dL]) following deleading of their homes. The methods used for deleading included scraping, sanding, and burning of the paint. Symptoms included irritability (n=3) and vomiting (n=1). The elevation of the Pb-B levels was detected early, allowing prompt chelation therapy. Because exacerbation of lead poisoning may occur in children following deleading of their homes, safer approaches of deleading should be determined.

(AJDC 1987;141:758-760)

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