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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 278042, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/278042
Research Article

Do US Ambient Air Lead Levels Have a Significant Impact on Childhood Blood Lead Levels: Results of a National Study

1Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
2University of Pittsburgh Academic Partner of Excellence in Public Health Tracking, USA
3Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
4Department of Biostatistics, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
5Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, USA
6Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Health Tracking Branch, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA

Received 10 December 2012; Accepted 6 June 2013

Academic Editor: Mohammad Mehdi Amin

Copyright © 2013 LuAnn L. Brink et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. Although lead paint and leaded gasoline have not been used in the US for thirty years, thousands of US children continue to have blood lead levels (BLLs) of concern. Methods. We investigated the potential association of modeled air lead levels and BLLs ≥ 10 μg/dL using a large CDC database with BLLs on children aged 0–3 years. Percent of children with BLLs ≥ 10 μg/dL (2000–2007) by county and proportion of pre-50 housing and SES variables were merged with the US EPA's National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) modeled air lead data. Results. The proportion with BLL ≥ 10 μg/dL was 1.24% in the highest air lead counties, and the proportion with BLL ≥ 10 μg/dL was 0.36% in the lowest air lead counties, resulting in a crude prevalence ratio of 3.4. Further analysis using multivariate negative binomial regression revealed that NATA lead was a significant predictor of % BLL ≥ 10 μg/dL after controlling for percent pre-l950 housing, percent rural, and percent black. A geospatial regression revealed that air lead, percent older housing, and poverty were all significant predictors of % BLL ≥ 10 μg/dL. Conclusions. More emphasis should be given to potential sources of ambient air lead near residential areas.