The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3027.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 4

Abstract #66164

Analysis of soil lead levels in a historic district of south central Kentucky city

Robert J Cummins, BS, MPH, Rodney G. Handy, PhD, CIH, Marilyn M. Gardner, PhD, and Dennis George, PhD. Department of Public Health, Western Kentucky University, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101, 270-745-2015,

The deleterious effects of lead on human health have been known for many years. Despite significant steps taken over the years to reduce the amount of lead present in the environment, lead remains a hazard. Once deposited into the soil, lead moves very slowly through the soil strata, thus lead deposited years ago is still present and in comparable concentrations. People, especially children, coming into contact with this contaminated soil have an increased risk of the chronic effects of lead.

Although lead was banned as an ingredient in paint in 1978, houses built prior to this date have a greater probability of having exterior paint that contains lead. Children living in these residences, therefore, are potentially at risk.

Because lead deposition into the soil can be used as a predictor of blood lead levels in children, the purpose of this study is to examine the soil-lead levels of houses in the historic downtown district of a south central Kentucky city to potentially estimate risk. Using the National Registry of Historic Districts as a guide, a systematic random sample of houses built prior to 1978 was selected as the study area. Age of construction and soil samples were collected from each study subject and analyzed using a NITON X-ray Fluorescence Spectrum according to EPA Method 6200. By using data collected from this study, educational and environmental interventions can be developed to reduce potential problems.

This study is currently in progress; results will be available by July 30, 2003.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Lead, Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Children's Environmental Health & Vulnerable Populations Poster Session - Childhood Lead Poisoning

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA