Sisk : Validation of a citizen screening kit for environmental lead (Pb)
Validation of a citizen screening kit for environmental lead (Pb)
University of Notre Dame
Alyssa Wicks, University of Notre Dame
Ornella Joseph, University of Notre Dame
Jocelyn Keranen, Hoosier Environmental Council
Angela Herrmann, IUPUI
Gabriel Filippelli, IUPUI
Marya Lieberman, University of Notre Dame
Graham Peaslee, University of Notre Dame
Heidi Beidinger, University of Notre Dame
Lead is a pernicious human health hazard with major lifelong implications for childhood brain development. The main source of lead exposure to children is the home environment. However, there are currently few methods for analysis that are cost effective and accurate. A full lead inspection is time consuming and expensive (~$600) and is usually done in response to a child’s elevated blood lead level test.
The Lead Screening Kit is an inexpensive alternative (~$20) to allow families assess lead risk within their home. Residents provide three soil samples (dripline, yard, near street), two paint samples (interior, exterior), and three dust samples (threshold, windowsill, old dust). Samples are returned to a lab for analysis using x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF)
Here we report on an implementation study and statistical analysis. First we compared the results of LIRAs and screening kits in Indiana homes. Traditional inspections and screening kits were performed by different operators who analyzed different samples and locations within the homes. The lead screening kit and inspection agreed on the presence of lead in 79 of the 107 homes tested (74%). We analyzed results from an additional 400 screening kits for correlations among sampling locations. Correlations were strongest between the yard soil and dripline soil, between exterior paint and dripline soil, and between the two types of non-window dust samples.
This analysis provides evidence that exterior paint is a major source of lead hazards both outside and inside the home. Additionally, the screening kit is an effective way to screen many locations for lead risk.
Translational/Human Health Impact:
The kit is a scalable, translational, solution for the problem of how to protect the next generation of children from lead in their home. The use of the kit engages the community to be proactive and is a vehicle for education and outreach.