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ESA LeadCare(R) System Used to Identify Salvadoran Children with Lead Poisoning
Date:4/22/2008

Study Results by Children's Health International Medicine Project of Seattle (CHIMPS) Presented at Academic Pediatric Association Conference in

Los Angeles

CHELMSFORD, Mass., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- El Salvador, like many emerging markets, must contend with lead toxicity from industrial sources as an issue of major public concern. This past fall, the El Salvadoran government threatened to shut down a large car-battery factory ("La Record"), which was known to be creating lead contamination in the surrounding community through improper waste-disposal practices. To help assess the problem of lead poisoning among Salvadoran children, ESA Biosciences, a Magellan Biosciences company and leader in dedicated systems to test for lead poisoning in children, donated LeadCare system test kits to the University of Washington for use in its Children's Health International Medicine Project of Seattle (CHIMPS). Last September, a CHIMPS team spent five days in Regala de Dios, a small, urban community of 240 families within the city of Soyapango, El Salvador -- a 25 minute car ride from the capital city of San Salvador -- testing children for lead poisoning and anemia, and providing educational outreach to families. CHIMPS presented project results at the Academic Pediatric Association Conference held last month in Los Angeles.

According to Dr. Erica Freeman, a pediatric resident at the University of Washington and one of the project leaders, "The CHIMPS team tested 55 children, ages one to five years, for blood-lead levels, hemoglobin, and ZPPH (a sensitive diagnostic indicator for iron deficiency anemia). In most cases, we were able to perform all three tests using capillary blood samples drawn from a single lancet puncture. Six children, or 11 percent of those tested, had elevated lead levels greater than 10 ug/dl (ranging from 10.5 to 20.2 ug/dl). Boys were 2.3 times more likely than girls to have elevated lead levels, and
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SOURCE Magellan Biosciences, Inc.
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