The Impact of Soil Lead Abatement on Urban Children′s Blood Lead Levels: Phase II Results from the Boston Lead-In-Soil Demonstration Project

A. Aschengrau, A. Beiser, D. Bellinger, D. Copenhafer, M. Weitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Boston Lead-In-Soil Demonstration Project was a randomized environmental intervention study of the impact of urban soil lead abatement on children′s blood lead levels. Lead-contaminated soil abatement was associated with a modest reduction in children′s blood lead levels in both phases of the project; however, the reduction in Phase II was somewhat greater than that in Phase I. The combined results from both phases suggest that a soil lead reduction of 2060 ppm is associated with a 2.25 to 2.70 μg/dl decline in blood lead levels. Low levels of soil recontamination 1 to 2 years following abatement indicate that the intervention is persistent, at least over the short-term. Furthermore, the intervention appears to benefit most children since no measurable differences in efficacy were observed for starting blood and soil lead level, race, neighborhood, gender, and many other characteristics. However, soil abatement did appear to be more beneficial to children in the higher socioeconomic classes, with low baseline ferritin levels, and who spent time away from home on a regular basis and lived in nonowner occupied housing, and with adults who had lead-related hobbies and almost always washed their hands before meals. Children who lived in apartments with consistently elevated floor dust lead loading levels derived almost no benefit from the soil abatement. It was not possible to separate the effects of the variables that had a beneficial impact on efficacy because they were closely correlated and the number of subjects was small. We recommend that further research be conducted to identify subgroups of children to whom soil lead abatement might be targeted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-148
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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