There have been no studies on the prevalence of elevated blood lead concentrations in the UK since the mid-1990s. However, studies at that time and data on more recent lead exposure suggest that lead remains a significant environmental health problem.
Taylor, Golding, Hibbeln, Emond, 2003
This study found that 14.4% pregnant woman had > 5 µg Pb/dL out of a sample size of 4285. Also, 0.4% had concentration > 10 µg Pb/dL.*
Women of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnicity had significantly higher BLC.
Chandramouli, Steer, Ellis, Emond, 2008
Although the purpose of this study was to explore the impact of lead toxicity on educational and behavioural outcomes, it did also include measuring blood lead concentrations and found that 27% of 582 children aged 30 months had blood lead concentrations above 5 µg Pb/dL.* This is described in a BBC article titled “‘Safe’ lead levels harm children“.
* 5 µg Pb/dL is the proposed action level for BLC in children in the UK.