ACMT Member, Paul Dargan, MD, FACMT plays prominent role in public release of updated WHO guideline for clinical management of exposure to lead

Paul Dargan, MD, FACMT, Consultant Physician and Professor of Toxicology, Guys & St. Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK was an active member in the World Health Organization’s Guideline Development Group and played a prominent role in the public release of the WHO guideline for clinical management of exposure to lead in October 2021. In a one-hour webinar on October 29, 2021, Dr. Dargan emphasized the critical importance of removing children from significant sources of exposure. This is particularly true in areas of the world with heavy lead contamination, such as artisanal mining operations and other practices that continue to put children at risk of injury and early death. Dr. Dargan’s frequent reminders of the imperative to stop ongoing Pb exposure, as well as recognizing the often community-wide exposure issues when dealing with a single patient, and the secondary role and potential challenges in choosing a treatment regimen (including chelation) explicitly highlighted the important role of clinical toxicologists and poison centers in the prevention, recognition, and treatment of lead poisoning.

Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, also in recognition of “National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week”, the CDC published an updated “Blood Lead Reference Value”, noting a further decrease in the 97.5% population marker of excess lead exposure for U.S. children ages 1-5, to 3.5 mcg/dL (whole blood Pb concentration). See here for an explanation and link to case management documents: