Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Children's Blood Lead Concentrations from 1988 to 2015 in Mexico City: The Contribution of Lead in Air and Traditional Lead-Glazed Ceramics.

Authors: Pantic, Ivan; Tamayo-Ortiz, Marcela; Rosa-Parra, Antonio; Bautista-Arredondo, Luis; Wright, Robert O; Peterson, Karen E; Schnaas, Lourdes; Rothenberg, Stephen J; Hu, Howard; Téllez-Rojo, Martha María

Published In Int J Environ Res Public Health, (2018 09 30)

Abstract: Despite the removal of lead from gasoline in 1997, elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) > 5 µg/dL are still detectable in children living in Mexico City. The use of lead-glazed ceramics may explain these persistent exposure levels. Mexico lacks a national surveillance program for BLL, but temporal trends can be derived from epidemiological studies. With this approach, we leveraged a series of birth cohorts to report BLL trends from 1987 to 2002 and expanded our analysis to 2015. Data were from 1⁻5-year-old children from five Mexico City cohorts followed between 1988 and 2015. BLLs are reported on 1963 children, who contributed 4975 BLLs. We estimated the trend of mean BLL, which decreased from 15.7 µg/dL in 1988, to 7.8 µg/dL in 1998 (a year after the total ban of lead in gasoline), to 1.96 µg/dL in 2015. The proportion of BLL ≥ 5 µg/dL decreased from 92% (1988⁻1998) to 8% (2008⁻2015). The use of lead-glazed ceramics was associated with an 11% increase in BLLs throughout the study period. Replacing lead-based glazes in traditional ceramics may be the key to further reducing exposure, but this presents challenges, as it involves a cultural tradition deeply rooted in Mexico. In addition, the creation of a rigorous, standardized, and on-going surveillance program of BLL is necessary for identifying vulnerable populations.

PubMed ID: 30274368 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Air Pollutants*; Ceramics*; Child; Child, Preschool; Environmental Exposure; Female; Humans; Infant; Lead Poisoning*/epidemiology; Lead Poisoning*/etiology; Lead/blood*; Male; Mexico/epidemiology; Vulnerable Populations

to Top