Blood Lead Levels Among Pregnant Women: Historical Versus Contemporaneous Exposures
Blood lead among pregnant women, even at modest levels, may impair offspring cognitive development. We examine whether blood lead levels (BLLs) result from current versus historic exposures, among a cohort of pregnant women. Cumulative logit models were used to characterize the relationship between maternal risk factors and higher BLLs. Maternal blood lead levels more likely result from lead remobilization from historic versus contemporaneous exposures. Even if all lead sources were abated immediately, women and their fetuses would experience lead exposure for decades. This work emphasizes the importance of addressing sources of environmental lead exposure in the United States and internationally.