Temporal trends in the lead concentrations of umbilical cord blood

Science  25 Jun 1982:
Vol. 216, Issue 4553, pp. 1429-1431
DOI: 10.1126/science.7089532


Umbilical cord blood specimens from 11,837 births between April 1979 and April 1981 have been analyzed for lead by anodic stripping voltammetry. The mean was 6.56 +/- 3.19 (standard deviation) micrograms per deciliter of blood, and the range was 0.0 to 37.0 micrograms per deciliter. The mean decreased annually by 0.77 +/- 0.03 microgram per deciliter, about 11 percent. Lead concentrations were higher in infants born in summer than in infants born in winter (7.17 versus 5.99, probability less than .001). A Fourier model of the data is presented, and possible reasons for the decline are discussed.