Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Oral Presentations
Background and Objectives:
The French Nutrition & Health Survey (ENNS) was carried out by the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance in 2006-2007. The main objectives were to explore food consumption and levels of various biomarkers in the general population. The aim of the present study was to assess blood lead levels (BLL) in the French adult population.
ENNS is a cross-sectional study in the general population. Participants (18 to 74 years of age) were sampled using a three-stage probability design stratified by geographical areas and degrees of urbanization. Data on individual characteristics, eating habits, occupational and environmental exposure were collected through interviews and self-administered questionnaires. Blood samples were collected and analysed using standardized procedures. Sample weights and complex sample design were taken into account in statistical analyses to produce unbiased and representative estimates.
The blood lead geometric mean in the French population was 25.7 μg/L [CI95: 24.9-26.5]. The overall prevalence of elevated BLL (>100 μg/L) was 1.6% [CI95: 1.1%-2.1%]. The median was 25 μg/L and the 95th percentile was 73 μg/L. Comparison with results from previous studies show that the geometric mean of BLL (in male young adults) dropped by 50% in 10 years. In 2006, levels were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) for males than for females, and increased (P < 0.0001) with age, tobacco or alcohol consumption. Others factors associated with BLL were identified including leisure activities, socio-professional status, age of housing, birth country and shellfish consumption.
The findings from the ENNS-lead study demonstrate that BLL in the French population has declined during recent years, and is still influenced by age, sex, smoking habits, and alcohol consumption. The distribution of BLL in France was quite similar to that observed in other European countries (Germany and Czech Republic).