• Article

Blood lead levels and risk factors for lead poisoning among children in Jakarta, Indonesia

The phase-out of leaded gasoline began in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 1, 2001. We evaluated mean blood lead levels (BLLs) and the prevalence of elevated BLLs of Jakarta school children and assessed risk factors for lead exposure in these children before the beginning of the phase-out activities. The study involved a population-based, cross-sectional blood lead survey that included capillary blood lead sampling and a brief questionnaire on risk factors for lead poisoning. A cluster survey design was used. Forty clusters, defined as primary schools in Jakarta, and 15 2nd- and 3rd-grade children in each cluster were randomly selected for participation in the study. The average age of children in this study was 8.6 years (range 6-12) and the geometric mean BLL of the children was 8.6 microg/dl (median: 8.6 microg/dl+ADs- range: 2.6-24.1 microg/dl) (n+AD0-397). Thirty-five percent of children had BLLs +AD4- or +AD0-10 microg/dl and 2.4+ACU- had BLLs +AD4- or +AD0-20 microg/dl. Approximately one-fourth of children had BLLs 10-14.9 microg/dl. In multivariate models, level of education of the child's primary caregiver, water collection method, home varnishing and occupational recycling of metals, other than lead, by a family member were predictors of log BLLs after adjustment for age and sex. BLLs of children who lived near a highway or major intersection were significantly higher than those of children who lived near a street with little or no traffic when level of education was not included in the model. Water collection method was a significant predictor of BLLs +AD4- or +AD0-10 microg/dl after adjustment for age and sex. BLLs in children in this study were moderately high and consistent with BLLs of children in other countries where leaded gasoline is used. With the phase-out of leaded gasoline, BLLs of children in Jakarta are expected to rapidly decline as they have in other countries that have phased lead out of gasoline


Albalak, R., Noonan, G., Buchanan, S., Flanders, WD., Gotway-Crawford, C., Kim, D., ... McGeehin, M. (2003). Blood lead levels and risk factors for lead poisoning among children in Jakarta, Indonesia. Science of the Total Environment, 301(1-3), 75-85.