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Environ Res. 1991 Aug;55(2):199-212.

An evaluation of experimental practices for abatement of residential lead-based paint: report on a pilot project.

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Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.


In this pilot study, we prospectively evaluated experimental practices for abating lead-based paint in six dwellings. These experimental abatements were based upon a new approach to abatement which reflects current understanding of low-level lead toxicity in children and the role of lead-contaminated dust as an important contributor to children's total body burden. Our previous study of traditional abatement practices in Baltimore showed them to be inadequate for reducing lead in both house dust and children's blood. Our experimental abatements resulted in significant reductions in house dust-lead levels (PbD) which persisted during 6-9 months of followup. Geometric mean PbD at floors, window sills, and window wells were respectively 5.6, 49.6, and 316.7 mg/m2 at preabatement, and respectively 0.6, 4.4, and 10.8 mg/m2 at 6-9 months. Experimental abatements involved (1) treatment of lead-painted surfaces above and below 4 ft from the floor, including interior and exterior components of windows; (2) sealing or covering of wooden floors; (3) procedures for containment of dust during abatement; and (4) a final cleanup using a high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) vacuum. We recommend that more research be done to further evaluate and compare the long-term efficacy of these and other abatement methodologies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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