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Exposure to lead and length of time needed to make homes lead-safe for young children

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 
Individual Author: 
Zierold, Kristina M.
Havlena, Jeff
Anderson, Henry
Reference Type: 
Published Date: 
February 2007
Published Date (Text): 
February 2007
American Journal of Public Health
Number of Volumes: 
Page Range: 

Objectives: We determined the length of time needed to make homes lead-safe in a population of children aged 0 to 6 years with blood lead levels (BLLs) of 20 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL) or greater. Reducing this time would reduce children's exposure to lead. 

Methods: Data came from the Wisconsin Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program's comprehensive blood lead surveillance system. Analysis was restricted to children whose first BLL test value during 1996-1999 was between 20 ug/dL and for whom housing intervention data were available (n = 382). 

Results: The median length of time required to make a home lead-safe was 465 days. Only 18% of children lived in homes that were made lead-safe within 6 months; 45% lived in home requiring more than 18 months to be lead-safe. 

Conclusions: Efforts are needed to reduce the time it takes to make a home lead-safe. Although abatement orders always include time limits, improved compliance with the orders must be enforced. Greater emphasis should be placed on securing lead-safe or lead-free housing for families, thus reducing lead exposure. (Author abstract) 


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