June 1, 2003
KALAMAZOO -- A team of researchers, up to their elbows in more than 800 sets of dirty diapers, have turned the experience into what may be some of the first conclusive evidence that environmental pollutants can impact the health and future prospects of children, even before they're born.
Western Michigan University researchers, working in cooperation with
Kalamazoo's two major hospitals and Michigan State University's Kalamazoo
Center for Medical Studies, have determined that a startling 50 percent
of children born in the area during a 10-month period in 2002 were
exposed to lead while still in the womb, and about 5 percent of babies
born had already suffered lead exposure at levels typically associated
with neurological problems.