• Mean blood lead levels of children measured in areas without significant local sources of lead exposure in selected European countries (Bar chart)
Data set notes
Environment and Health

Indicators: 59
Updated: 15 July 2019
Downloads: 1342

Indicator notes

Data source
Data were kindly provided by: Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Belgium; National Centre for Public Health Protection, Bulgaria; Centre of Environmental Health, National Institute of Public Health, Czech Republic; National Institute of Public Health Surveillance, France; Landesinstitut für den Öffentlichen Gesundheitsdienst NRW, Germany; National Institute of Environmental Health, Hungary; Hebrew University-Hadassah International School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Israel; Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Poland; Institute of Public Health, Romania; Ural Regional Centre for the Environmental Epidemiology, Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation; National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden; and Institute for Health Protection, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2-28).

Description of data
The levels of lead in children’s blood were determined mostly from venous blood samples using atomic absorption spectrometry or inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). Three countries reported the use of capillary samples and blood test kits (based on electrochemistry). According to the comparison tests performed in each case, these data were claimed to be comparable with the results produced by the above-mentioned methods (2,8,9,11). Levels of lead in the blood were provided in the form of arithmetic and/or geometric means. One country presented only the percentages of lead in children’s blood.

Method of calculating the indicator
As the data were provided in various forms and for various periods and age groups, it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis. In the case of Romania, the geometric mean was estimated on the basis of frequency distribution among blood lead level categories.

Geographical coverage
Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Ukraine.

Period of coverage

Frequency of update
Not defined.

Data quality
The accuracy and precision are high for measurements of lead in the blood reported by the countries, regardless of different methods of analysis. All samples were analysed by laboratories participating in international proficiency programmes. Only the report from Germany for 2003–2006 was based on representative samples of the population in one part of the country. Other data presented are specific to the areas, time of the study and the given age groups. Comparison of the data over time and between countries should, therefore, be made with extra caution. Harmonized methods of blood sampling, analysis and data presentation with improved comparability are needed in the future for monitoring the level of lead in children’s blood.
Country notes
No information