Date of this Version

2002

Document Type

Article

Rights

default

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the magnitude of environmental lead contamination in the downtown area of Miami. Lead inspections took place at 121 homes in Little Haiti and Liberty City and involved the collection ofrepresentative samples from floors, window wells, tap water, soil and air. Community health workers (CHWs) trained in interview and safety techniques went from door to door to enlist participation. On-site investigations were tailored to areas most utilized by children underthe age of6 years. The presence of lead-containing paint was also investigated in situ via X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis. Results: Of the sampling areas, the window wells area had the most abundant occurrence of lead. On analysis, 24% of sites returned window well samples with lead levels above Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines. Of the soil samples, the playgrounds around the house had the highest concentration of lead. Soil sampling demonstrated that 27.5% of sites returned samples with lead levels (400 to 1600 ppm) inexcess of HUD/Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Positive XRF readings in one or more components were returned by 18% of sites. Conclusions: More than half of the houses in these two neighborhoods exhibited unacceptably high levels of lead dust and soil in areas where children live and play. Limitations of this study did not allow the assessment of how many children in this area are affected. A more comprehensive study including other areas of Miami-Dade County with older housing stock is recommended.