English Language YouTube Videos as a Source of Lead Poisoning and Other Lead Related Information: A Cross-Sectional Study

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International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health






Exposure to lead is detrimental to children’s development. YouTube is a form of social media through which people may learn about lead poisoning. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to analyze the variation in lead poisoning-related YouTube contents between different video sources. The 100 most viewed lead poisoning-related videos were manually coded, among which, 50 were consumer-generated, 19 were created by health care professionals, and 31 were news. The 100 videos had a total of more than 8.9 million views, with news videos accounting for 63% of those views. The odds of mentioning what lead poisoning is, how to remove lead, and specifically mentioning the danger in ages 1–5 because of rapid growth among videos created by health care professionals were 7.28 times (Odds ratio, OR = 7.28, 95% CI, 2.09, 25.37, p = 0.002); 6.83 times (OR = 6.83, 95% CI, 2.05, 22.75, p = 0.002) and 9.14 times (OR = 9.14, CI, 2.05, 40.70, p = 0.004) that of consumer-generated videos, respectively. In this study, professional videos had more accurate information regarding lead but their videos were less likely to be viewed compared to consumer-generated videos and news videos. If professional videos about lead poisoning can attract more viewers, more people would be better informed and could possibly influence policy agendas, thereby helping communities being affected by lead exposure.