Lead Exposure And Indonesian Children’s Health In Java Island

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Lead Exposure And Indonesian  Children’s Health In Java Island

Writers: Muchtaruddin Mansyur, Dewi Yunia Fitriani, Ari Prayogo, Ade Mutiara, Winda Widyaning Putri, Rifka Aini, Ratih Fadhilah, Asep, Sarah Edna, Agus Karmayana, Sarjito Eko Windarso, Nikolaus Hariojati, Budi Susilorini, Alfonso Rodriguez, Stephan Boese-O’Reilly


Informal sector activities of recycling of lead-acid batteries is a leading contributor
to exposure in areas in low and middle-income countries. In Indonesia, lead
exposures have been attributed to the haphazard collection and recycling of
Used Lead Acid Batteries (ULABs), lead in paint, artisanal and small-scale gold
mining, industrial activities, cigarettes, and few other lead related activities.
The issue of lead exposure in Indonesia beyond workplaces exposure into air,
water, and soil, thus posing public health concerns to the general population.
Due to concerns about severe lead pollution from used lead acid battery (ULAB)
recycling sites, several studies focused on children living in communities near
these sites, within a city or village, in order to reduce the risk of lead exposure
in children and to understand the lead exposure among Indonesian children
through local and up-to-date data.

This study is a cross-sectional study design for assessing blood lead level (BLL)
among children 12-59 months of age in the neighborhood of previous or present
operations of ULAB sites in four communities as exposed areas (Cinangka-Bogor,
Pesarean-Tegal, Kadu Jaya-Tangerang, and Dupak-Surabaya) and a controlled
area (Cinangneng-Bogor). Data collection was carried out through questionnaire,
laboratory methods, Home-Based Assessment (HBA) and sampling household.
Determining BLL, the capillary blood sample was analyzed using LeadCare II
that detected BLL ranging from 3.5 to 65.0 μg/dL. This study established a cutoff
point for blood lead levels at 20 μg/dL, as heme synthesis is known to be
disrupted at this threshold.

It is crucial to protect children from exposure of hazardous materials including
lead, since the impacts are long term and can be irreversible. The Faculty of
Medicine at the University of Indonesia is an academic institution that houses
the Indonesian Medical Education and Research Institute (IMERI), including the
Occupational and Environmental Health Research Centre (OEHRC) as one of
its clusters. OEHRC FKUI shares a common vision with Pure Earth in protecting
individuals from hazardous material exposure in the realms of health and the

On this occasion, collaborative research by OEHRC FKUI and Pure Earth, was
carried out to analyze lead exposure in children and its influencing factors also
the health impacts. The result of this study indicated that Indonesian children
participating in the study population do have a high risk of being exposed to lead.
These lead exposures were obtained from inside the house and environment
which need to be addressed immediately.
This book presents the findings regarding children’s blood lead levels and the
factors contributing to these exposures. We hope that this book serves as a
valuable reference and a cause for concern, prompting collective actions from
all concerned parties.

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