Lead Risk Assessment Study in Three Communities

Project Funder: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Project Partners: Baltimore County Department of Health, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Milwaukee Health Department, and New York City Department of Public Health

Project Contact: Jonathan Wilson, jwilson@nchh.org, 443.539.4162

Project Description: This study evaluated the performance of HUD's lead risk assessment and lead hazard screening protocols in predicting whether the resident child will have an elevated blood lead level and to identify ways to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of these protocols. Two hundred fifty-four dwellings with young children were enrolled in the study in three sites: Baltimore County (Maryland), Milwaukee (Wisconsin), and New York City. From June to October 1998, certified risk assessors conducted comprehensive environmental tests, and researchers collected exposure characteristic data through family interviews. NCHH determined that the 1995 risk assessment protocol is not a significant predictor of the blood lead status (blood lead level ≥10 µg/dL or <10 µg/dL) of a child in the dwelling. NCHH found alternative protocols that predict blood lead status, but no single protocol stood out as superior. Protocols that included tests of floor dust and perimeter soil were most predictive.

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