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Lead contamination of the environment is an important public health consideration. There is evidence of declining blood lead levels in Britain, however, there is still concern about chronic exposure of the fetus and young children to low levels of lead and the effect that this has on neurodevelopment. Hair lead levels have been found to correlate well with body lead contamination. This study is the first to document the level of hair lead in pregnant women and their babies from an urban British population. There was no evidence of toxic maternal lead levels and the fetus is protected by the placental barrier.