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

the most significantly elevated lead levels were in children whose households included adults with occupational lead exposure. LeadCare's immediate results became an integral part of our education process: for families of children with elevated lead levels, we provided additional counseling around decreasing environmental lead exposure, and in one case, we also made a home visit."

The CHIMPS team worked closely with a local non-governmental organization and the community leadership council, which was key to the project's success, helping increase the group's sensitivity to local needs. Most important, the community leaders helped the team carry out health education and mobilize the community. More than 100 community members attended the health education events held in the community center at the end of the week of testing. ESA has donated additional LeadCare reagent kits for use at the Benjamin Bloom Children's Hospital in San Salvador, one of only two tertiary care centers for children in Central America.

Dr. Freeman continued, "A team member returned to Regala de Dios in January to perform follow-up testing on the children identified with elevated blood-lead levels the previous September. All of their levels had dropped to less than 10 ug/dl, below the toxic threshold according to World Health Organization guidelines. Although the sample size was small, we believe that these results demonstrate that screening and education may be an effective way to reduce the prevalence of lead toxicity in communities with a high risk of lead poisoning."

Why regular blood-lead screening tests are important for young children

Elevated lead levels are connected to a host of learning and social problems -- from reading difficulties and ADHD to increased risk of violence and drop-outs. Recent studies even suggest that some of the mental decline associated with aging -- for example, losses in verbal and visual memory and language ability -- may relate to l
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SOURCE Magellan Biosciences, Inc.
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