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Environ Res. 1985 Oct;38(1):46-53.

Condition and type of housing as an indicator of potential environmental lead exposure and pediatric blood lead levels.


Environmental evaluations in a prospective behavioral study of children with blood lead levels up to about 50 micrograms/dl were performed by an intensive environmental survey and by exterior visual evaluation of housing quality. Serial blood lead values for infants in the study were compared to exterior housing type and quality, which itself was also compared with results of the intensive environmental evaluation. Five housing condition and type categories were defined: public housing; private housing (satisfactory, deteriorated, and dilapidated); and rehabilitated private housing. In this interim report on the first subset of available data, the housing categories were found to differ in paint and environment dust lead levels, with public and rehabilitated housing having lowest values. Blood lead concentrations of children differed across housing categories as early as 6 months of age, with children residing in public housing having lowest levels, followed by those in rehabilitated housing. The spread in mean blood lead concentrations among the housing quality categories increased with increasing age of the children. Housing category accounted for over one-half of the blood lead variability in 18-month-old children.

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