Serum Lead Level and Academic Performance of Elementary School Children in Makassar City

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Ruslan Ruslan
Hasnawati Amqam
Widia Meilia Yusuf
Trimuliati Nani
Nur Indazil Arsy
Adinda Rezky Ramadhani


Lead exposure to children results in a negative effect on behaviour and cognitive performance. Air lead concentration might be influenced by traffic density on the road. Schools are the locations affected by traffic-related pollution. This study aims to explore the correlation between Serum Lead Levels (SLL) and academic achievement of elementary school students, comparing the distance of the school from the road. This cross-sectional study included 54 5th and 6th-grade students from two schools that differed in the distance from the main road. We observed the students' SLL with laboratory analysis and academic performance from the final score of five subjects. The mean difference of SLL and academic achievement between the two schools were performed using the Mann-Whitney U test, and the correlation between lead concentration and academic performance using the Spearman-Rho test. This study observed that all students were exposed to lead with the SLL range of 0.39-5.97 µg/dL in the school which is located road side, and 0.42-6.44 µg/dL in the school far from main road. The insignificant difference in the students' SLL (p=0.43) between the two schools but significant in students-level of academic performance (p=0.03) were discovered. Serum lead level correlated negatively with academic performance. (r=-0.234, p=0.044). It is suggested to give more attention to preventing lead exposure in children through the implementation of some prevention programmes and policies.


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Ruslan R, Amqam H, Yusuf WM, Trimuliati Nani, Arsy NI, Ramadhani AR. Serum Lead Level and Academic Performance of Elementary School Children in Makassar City. JIKM [Internet]. 2022 Dec. 20 [cited 2023 Jan. 28];13(3):350-61. Available from: