Use of Geographic Information System Technology to Aid Health Department Decision Making about Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Activities

By Reissman, Dori B.; Staley, Forrest et al. | Environmental Health Perspectives, January 2001 | Go to article overview

Use of Geographic Information System Technology to Aid Health Department Decision Making about Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Activities


Reissman, Dori B., Staley, Forrest, Curtis, Gerald B., Kaufmann, Rachel B., Environmental Health Perspectives


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that local public health agencies use local data to identify children at risk for lead exposure to ensure that they receive preventive services. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the usefulness of a geographic information system (GIS) in identifying children at risk for lead exposure. We conducted a descriptive study, using GIS technology, of the blood lead (BPb) levels and residential location of at-risk children screened for lead exposure. "At-risk children" were defined as those children living in housing built before 1950 or in an area with a high proportion of older housing. The study was conducted in Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA. Participants were the cohort of children born in 1995 and screened from 1996 through 1997, and children younger than age 7 years who were screened from 1994 through 1998. Outcome measures were the BPb level and residential location (address or target zone) of at-risk children screened from 1996 through 1997, and the number and location of homes where more than one child had been poisoned by lead from 1994 through 1998. The proportion of children screened who live within zones targeted for universal screening varied from 48% to 53%, while only 50% of the at-risk children in the entire county were screened. Between 1994 and 1998, 79 homes housed 35% of the 524 children with lead poisoning. These housing units were prioritized for lead-hazard remediation. Significant numbers of at-risk children throughout the county were not being tested for lead exposure, even in prioritized areas. GIS can be very useful to health departments in planning lead exposure screening strategies and measuring program performance. Key words: childhood, geographic information systems, lead poisoning, public health. Environ Health Perspect 109:89-94 (2001). [Online 21 December 2000]

http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2001/109p89-94reissman/abstract.html

Recent data from phase 2 of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) indicate that 4.4% of U.S. children younger than 6 years of age have blood lead (BPb) levels of at least 10 [micro]g/dL, the level associated with cognitive impairment and behavior problems (1). NHANES III data demonstrate that residence in older housing is a strong, independent risk factor for lead poisoning. Deteriorating lead-based house paint remains the most important source of lead exposure for children in the United States (2). Before 1950, house paint contained up to 50% lead by weight, and currently children in 26 million households live in housing built before 1950 (3). The children most at risk for lead exposure are 6 months to 2 years of age, who are exposed primarily by ingestion of lead-contaminated dust on objects or hands placed in their mouths (2).

The U.S. Public Health Service has a strategic plan to eradicate childhood lead poisoning by the year 2011 (4). The plan requires that at-risk children be screened by blood tests for lead exposure. Children with mildly elevated BPb levels (e.g., 10-19 [micro]g/dL) can then be protected from further lead exposure if parents are taught to reduce exposure. In addition, children with higher BPb levels (e.g., at least 20 [micro]g/dL) can receive medical evaluation and treatment, if indicated. Because the risk for lead exposure is not distributed evenly throughout the population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended in 1997 that health departments use local data to identify children and neighborhoods at high risk in order to target screening efforts (2). For example, the CDC suggested that health departments could target children ages 6 months to 2 years who reside in geographic areas, such as zip codes or census tracts, where at least 27% of the housing stock was constructed before 1950.

This paper describes how a computerized geographic information system (GIS) can be used to help health department decision making and program evaluation about screening for childhood lead exposure when the main criterion used to assess a child's risk of lead exposure is residence in housing constructed before 1950 (5). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Use of Geographic Information System Technology to Aid Health Department Decision Making about Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Activities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.