Lead levels were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in umbilical cord blood samples of 150 neonates in an urban inner-city hospital. The mean (SD) gestation and birth weight of our cohort were 38.8 (1.7) weeks and 3,217 (519) grams. There were 89 African-Americans, 53 males and 79 were born via vaginal delivery. Mean (SD) maternal age was 24.5 (5.8) years. History of drug abuse and smoking was reported in 8.7 and 10.7 respectively, with only 1 mother reporting a history of high lead level in childhood. Prenatal vitamin intake was reported in 99.3. Cord blood lead level was available in 144 patients, with lead level of <1μg/dL seen in 141 (97.9) and>1 in 3 (2.1) patients. No patient had cord blood lead level of >2μg/dL. High lead levels during childhood in high-risk urban population, however, suggest the need for intensive efforts for prevention of environmental exposure to lead in early childhood.
- cord blood