Salud Pública de México
versión impresa ISSN 0036-3634
ESPINOSA, Carlos; ROJAS, Maritza y SEIJAS, David. Usefulness of the Geographic Information System (GIS) in the identification of contributing factors to lead blood concentrations in a population of Venezuelan children. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2006, vol.48, n.2, pp.84-93. ISSN 0036-3634.
OBJECTIVE: To identify environmental factors that contribute to blood lead levels (BPb) in children living in an urban area in Valencia, Venezuela, using a Geographical Information System (GIS) as an association tool. MATERIAL AND METHODS: An analytical-ecological study was carried out. Population: 60 children. Data collected: Demography, potential sources of environmental lead and BPb concentrations. An association was made between environmental variables and BPb, using a buffer analysis. RESULTS: There was a statistically significant difference between BPb in males (11.1±3.1 µg/dl) compared to females (9.5±2.7 µg/dl). Average BPb of children living within the buffer areas (10.7±3.2 µg/dl) was higher than that of the rest of the children (9.9±2.5 µg/dl). Children with BPb levels higher than the permissible limit who live in the southern region of the area studied had an average BPb significantly higher than the rest. The GIS enabled the identification of a soldering/welding shop as the nearest source of exposure to the male children´s homes. CONCLUSIONS: GIS made it possible to recognize sources of lead exposure in the area and its association with the BPb levels of children that live near such sources. It is suggested to further evaluate additional factors that could influence the risk of lead exposure.
Palabras llave : GIS; lead; environmental factors; Venezuela.