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Title: Childhood lead exposure in the Palestinian Authority, Israel, and Jordan: results from the Middle Eastern Regional Cooperation Project, 1996–2000
Authors: Safi, Jamal 
Fischbein, Alf 
El Haj, Sameer 
Sansour, Ramzi 
Jaghabi, Madi 
Abu Hashish, Mohammed 
Suleiman, Hassan 
Safi, Nimer 
Abu-Hamda, Abed 
Witt, Joyce K. 
Platkov, Efim 
Reingold, Steven 
Alayyan, Amber 
Berman, Tamar 
Bercovitch, Matti 
Choudhri, Yogesh 
Richter, Elihu D. 
Keywords: Lead poisoning in children - Middle East - Statistics
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: In the Middle East, the major sources of lead exposure have been leaded gasoline, lead-contaminated flour from traditional stone mills, focal exposures from small battery plants and smelters, and kohl (blue color) in cosmetics. In 1998–2000, we measured blood lead (PbB) levels in children 2–6 years of age in Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority (n = 1478), using a fingerstick method. Mean (peak; percentage > 10 µg/dL) PbB levels in Israel (n = 317), the West Bank (n = 344), Jordan (n = 382), and Gaza (n = 435) were 3.2 µg/dL (18.2; 2.2%), 4.2 µg/dL (25.7; 5.2%), 3.2 µg/dL (39.3; < 1%), and 8.6 µg/dL (> 80.0; 17.2%), respectively. High levels in Gaza were all among children living near a battery factory. The findings, taken together with data on time trends in lead emissions and in PbB in children in previous years, indicate the benefits from phasing out of leaded gasoline but state the case for further reductions and investigation of hot spots. The project demonstrated the benefits of regional cooperation in planning and carrying out a jointly designed project. Key words: ambient lead pollution, blood lead, childhood lead exposures, Middle East regional project. Environ Health Perspect 114:917–922 (2006). doi:10.1289/ehp.8339 available via
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