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Household lead control education interventions

Health Factors: Housing & Transit
Decision Makers: Community Members Local Government State Government Nonprofit Leaders Public Health Professionals & Advocates
Evidence Rating: Evidence of Ineffectiveness
Population Reach: 50-99% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to increase disparities

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Description

Household lead control education interventions inform parents about lead exposure pathways and explain cleaning and hygiene techniques, and may include temporary dust control measures such as specialized cleaning or minor repairs (Cochrane-Nussbaumer-Streit 2016). As of 2012, scientists indicate no safe blood lead level (BLL). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) blood lead reference level for initiating public health actions to prevent further exposure and mitigate health effects is 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL); it is estimated that over 500,000 children have BLLs at or above this level (White 2015, NCHH-Lead 2014, CDC-Lead facts). Childhood lead poisoning occurs at higher rates among families with lower incomes, those living in older homes, and those residing in urban areas than their counterparts (White 2015, Korfmacher 2014, Reed 2011a, NCHH-Lead 2014).

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that teaching parents about lead exposure pathways and specialized cleaning efforts alone does not prevent lead poisoning or reduce children’s blood lead levels (BLLs) (Cochrane-Nussbaumer-Streit 2016, Armstrong 2014). In some cases, dusting and cleaning can increase childhood lead exposure by dispersing lead dust, which can be inhaled or ingested when it settles on objects that children touch. Permanent lead abatement programs are needed to reduce lead dust exposure (Cochrane-Nussbaumer-Streit 2016).

Lead is often found in paint, dust, pipes, and soil in or around homes built before 1978. Lead paint on windows and doors is particularly hazardous as friction created by the opening and closing motion often releases lead dust (US EPA-Lead). Early recommendations regarding lead control suggested that continually cleaning lead dust could mitigate its negative effects; however, recent studies suggest such efforts are ineffective (Cochrane-Nussbaumer-Streit 2016, Armstrong 2014) and can significantly increase BLLs, especially for toddlers exhibiting mouthing behaviors (Cochrane-Nussbaumer-Streit 2016).

Citations - Description

CDC-Lead facts - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lead: Facts, tips, tools, training, and resources for childhood lead poisoning prevention. Accessed on April 18, 2017
Cochrane-Nussbaumer-Streit 2016* - Nussbaumer-Streit B, Yeoh B, Griebler U, et al. Household interventions for preventing domestic lead exposure in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2016;(12):CD006047. Accessed on April 18, 2017
Korfmacher 2014 - Korfmacher KS, Malone J, Jacobs D. Local housing policy approaches to preventing childhood lead poisoning. Public Health Law Research: Making the Case for Laws that Improve Health. 2014. Accessed on April 18, 2017
NCHH-Lead 2014 - National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH). Preventing lead exposure in US children: A blueprint for action. 2014. Accessed on April 18, 2017
Reed 2011a* - Reed W. Preventing childhood lead poisoning. In: Lemelle AJ, Reed W, Taylor S, eds. Handbook of African American Health: Social and Behavioral Interventions. New York: Springer; 2011:103-11. Accessed on April 18, 2017
White 2015 - White BM, Bonilha HS, Ellis C. Racial/ethnic differences in childhood blood lead levels among children <72 months of age in the United States: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. 2015:1-9. Accessed on April 18, 2017

Citations - Evidence

Armstrong 2014 - Armstrong R, Anderson L, Synnot A, et al. Evaluation of evidence related to exposure to lead. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council; 2014. Accessed on April 18, 2017
Cochrane-Nussbaumer-Streit 2016* - Nussbaumer-Streit B, Yeoh B, Griebler U, et al. Household interventions for preventing domestic lead exposure in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2016;(12):CD006047. Accessed on April 18, 2017
US EPA-Lead - US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Lead: Lead poisoning is preventable. Accessed on April 18, 2017

Page Last Updated

April 25, 2017

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