Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 375-385

First online:

Soil Lead and Children’s Blood Lead Levels in Syracuse, NY, USA

  • David L. JohnsonAffiliated withFaculty of Chemistry, SUNY ESF Email author 
  • , Jennifer K. BretschAffiliated withHealth and the Environment Program, The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation

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A geo-referenced data set of 12 228 first-time blood lead screening values for Syracuse, NY, children was established for the 4-year period 1992–1996. Soil lead values were measured in a 600 m by 600 m tessellation grid covering the city. The two data sets were merged for evaluation of relationships between them. Strong seasonal variation in blood lead levels suggests the importance of contaminated soils as an exposure source. When the data were aggregated at a large geographic scale (∼3 km2), a logarithmic model showed an R2 of > 0.65 for the regression of geometric mean blood lead on median soil lead values. Results showed a striking similarity to those obtained by Mielke et al. (1999) for a study in New Orleans, LA, USA.

blood lead data aggregation geographic distribution regression models soil lead soil size fractions