Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Advisor 1

Shawn Gerstenberger, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Tim Bungum

Second Committee Member

Chad Cross

Graduate Faculty Representative

Jennifer Keene

Number of Pages

75

Abstract

Lead poisoning remains a public health concern due to leads persistence in the environment from anthropogenic uses. Initial efforts to address the impacts of lead on vulnerable communities have included secondary prevention measures which typically occur after a child has been poisoned. However, in recent years there has been a pragmatic shift toward primary prevention efforts.

This study evaluates lead hazards identified through primary prevention activities in residential housing within Clark County, Nevada, USA. It is the first study to systematically address and evaluate pre-1978 housing in Southern Nevada. Risk assessments were conducted in 81 dwellings built prior to 1979 classified as a mobile, single family or multi family unit. Risk assessments included the evaluation of lead hazards using a Niton X-ray Fluorescence analyzer and collection of dust and soil samples.

Of the 81 homes inspected 60 (74%) of the homes had lead-based hazards from traditional (paint, dust, soil) and non-traditional (tile) sources. Evaluation of lead-based paint hazards suggest that hazards within Clark County follow national trends, specifically that lead is found more frequently in older housing units. An evaluation of age of the home as a marker for dust and soil hazards indicated no statistically significant trend which could conclude that year of construction is not associated with such hazards. Data does suggest that non-traditional lead-based hazards such as tile are more commonly found in Southern Nevada Homes.

Understanding housing characteristics, such as age of home, and their association to paint, dust and soil hazards can be used to develop targeted screening and education efforts that actively evaluate housing with the greatest risk of exposing humans to lead. Further, the identification of non-traditional lead hazards as a common source of exposure for Nevada residents indicates the need for prevention and educational efforts that address reducing risks associated with such hazards.

Keywords

Built environment; Children; Clark County; Nevada; Healthy homes; Lead-based paint; Lead hazards; Lead in tiles; Lead poisoning prevention; Lead risk assessment; Non-traditional sources; Older housing; Primary prevention

Disciplines

Environmental Health and Protection | Epidemiology | Public Health

Language

English


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