Low-cost household paint abatement to reduce children's blood lead levels.Environ Res. 1999 Nov; 81(4):334-8.ER
The purpose was to examine the effectiveness of low-cost abatement on children's blood lead levels. Blood lead was analyzed before and after abatement in 37 homes of children under 7 years old with initial blood lead levels of 25-44 microgram/dL. Ninety-five percent of homes were built before 1950. Abatement methods used were wet-scraping and repainting deteriorated surfaces and wrapping window wells with aluminum or vinyl. A control group was retrospectively selected. Control children were under 7 years old, had initial blood lead levels of 25-44 microgram/dL and a follow-up level at least 28 days afterward, and did not have abatements performed in their homes between blood lead levels. After abatement, statistically significant declines occurred in the intervention children's blood lead levels. The mean decline was 22%, 1 to 6 months after treatment. After adjustment for seasonality and child's age, the mean decline was 6.0 microgram/dL, or 18%. The control children's blood levels did not decline significantly. There was a mean decline of 0.25 microgram/dL, or 0.39%. After adjustment for seasonality and age, the mean decline for control children was 1.6 microgram/dL, or 1.8%. Low-cost abatement and education are effective short-term interim controls.