Lead Exposure in Newly Resettled Pediatric Refugees in Syracuse, NY

Christina D. Lupone, Danielle Daniels, Dawn Lammert, Robyn Borsuk, Travis Hobart, Sandra Lane, Andrea Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Lead is a major environmental toxin that presents numerous health consequences for children. Refugee children are at a risk of lead poisoning post-resettlement due to urban housing and environmental inequalities stemming from lack of funding, legislation, and advocacy. This article addresses lead exposure upon arrival and post-resettlement in 705 refugee children (age 0–16 years) attending a university clinic in Syracuse, NY, a city with a large refugee population. 17% of the newly arrived children had elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) (≥ 5 µg/dL); 10% had elevated BLL upon follow-up; 8.3% of the children’s follow-up elevated BLL were new exposures. 30% were found to have increased BLL at follow-up regardless of arrival status. An analysis of new exposures found a significant proportion of children would have been missed on routine screening that targets children < 2 years old. Primary prevention efforts are needed to prevent exposure and address risks to improve the health of all children locally, including newly resettled refugees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Anemia
  • Environmental inequalities
  • Lead exposure
  • Pediatric
  • Refugee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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