A randomized trial of the effect of dust control on children's blood lead levels

Bruce P. Lanphear, Nancy L. Winter, Leslie Apetz, Shirley Eberly, Michael Weitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective. Dust control is recommended as one of the cornerstones of controlling childhood lead exposure; however, the effectiveness of dust control has not been demonstrated for children who have low to mild elevations in blood lead (ie, less than 25 μg/dL). The objective of this study was to determine whether dust control, as performed by families, had an effect on children's blood lead levels and dust lead levels in children's homes. Design.Randomized, controlled trial. Setting.Community-based trial in Rochester, NY. Participants. One hundred four children, 12 to 31 months of age at baseline. Intervention. Families and children were randomized to one of two groups. Families of children in the intervention group received cleaning supplies, information about cleaning areas that are often contaminated with lead, and a cleaning demonstration. Families in the control group received only a brochure about lead poisoning prevention. Outcome Measures. Baseline measurements of lead in blood, house dust, soil, water, and paint were taken from both groups. Seven months after enrollment, a second blood lead assay was obtained, and lead levels in household dust were measured. The main outcome measures were change in blood lead levels and dust lead levels by treatment group. Results. The median blood lead level of children enrolled in the study was 6.7 μg/dL (range, 1.7 to 30.6 μg/dL). There was no significant difference in the change of children's blood lead levels or dust lead levels by treatment group. The median change in blood lead levels among children in the intervention group was -0.05 μg/dL compared with -0.60 μg/dL among those in the control group. There also was no significant difference in the change of dust lead by group assignment, although there was a trend toward a significant difference in the percentage of change in dust lead levels on noncarpeted floors, which was greater among houses in the intervention group. Conclusions. These data suggest that an intervention that consists only of providing cleaning supplies and a brief description of dust control is not effective at reducing blood lead levels among urban children with low to mild elevations in blood lead levels at a 7- month follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalPediatrics
Volume98
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1996

Keywords

  • blood lead
  • children
  • dust control
  • environmental exposure
  • lead-contaminated house dust
  • prevention
  • randomized trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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  • Cite this

    Lanphear, B. P., Winter, N. L., Apetz, L., Eberly, S., & Weitzman, M. (1996). A randomized trial of the effect of dust control on children's blood lead levels. Pediatrics, 98(1), 35-40.