Ifeanyi Hatesin Anyaegbu, George Uchenna Eleje, Dennis C. Nwosu, Kenechi Miracle Adinnu, Charles Chukwunomunso Okafor, Emeka Philip Igbodike, Ejeatuluchukwu Obi, Arinze Anthony Onwuegbuna, David Chibuike Ikwuka, Jude Ogechukwu Okoye, Ekene Agatha Emeka and Angela Ogechukwu Ugwu
Background and Objective: A few years back, Zamfara State, Nigeria experienced death from lead poisoning in children. Despite this sad occurrence, there appears to be a paucity of literature on the prevalence of lead poisoning in other regions as children continue to be exposed. This study investigated the prevalence of childhood lead toxicity among school children in the Owerri Metropolis. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study examined 72 school children from 32 primary schools within Owerri Metropolis. Their samples were analyzed for blood lead level using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). Additionally, 32 pooled soil samples collected from the play-ground of their various schools were analyzed using a flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (FAAS). Results: The results revealed that out of the 72 blood samples analyzed, nine (12.5%) that exceeded the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guideline level at (>5 μg dL1)are at a toxic level. The findings also revealed that toxic blood lead level was found more in those of age 6-8, those in nursery 1-3 and a higher prevalence in females than male. Additionally, all the pooled soil samples collected from major schools have an average lead level of 0.041±0.08 ppm (mg kg1) which is a safe level. Conclusion: Prevalence of childhood lead toxicity in Owerri is low compared to some other cities in Nigeria, however, the mere fact that some children had greater than the acceptable levels in their body, shows that there is a level of environmental exposure, especially among females and children less than nine years, hence we recommend that government and related stakeholders should ensure that policies are made and implemented to safeguard children from lead poisoning. Awareness of sources and prevention of lead poisoning should be encouraged.
Ifeanyi Hatesin Anyaegbu, George Uchenna Eleje, Dennis C. Nwosu, Kenechi Miracle Adinnu, Charles Chukwunomunso Okafor, Emeka Philip Igbodike, Ejeatuluchukwu Obi, Arinze Anthony Onwuegbuna, David Chibuike Ikwuka, Jude Ogechukwu Okoye, Ekene Agatha Emeka and Angela Ogechukwu Ugwu, 2022. Sources and Prevalence of Lead Poisoning Among School Children in Owerri Metropolis, South-East Nigeria. Journal of Medical Sciences, 22: 189-195.