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Study: Lead Levels Skyrocket During Post-K Rebuilding


We've made a lot of noise about our lead-contaminated playgrounds. But a new Tulane University study shows there's no shortage of lead in our homes since the federal flood, as well. Researchers were "surprised" to find that more than 60 percent of homes in post-K New Orleans had dangerously high lead levels, and that the hazard cut across income demographics. The research examined indoor dust and yard samples in occupied homes during 2007-08, found that lead levels were 37 percent higher than they were at the turn of the millenium. 

 

Children are particularly at risk, as they are most susceptible to the long-term effects of lead, according to the study. Samples taken in 2006 showed a sharp decrease in lead levels immediately after the storm. But demolition and construction in New Orleans older housing stock likely stirred up lead dust anew as rebuilding kicked into high gear, and paint chips were plentiful, the researchers believe. While we're disappointed to hear that licking the walls is still frowned upon, at least we have yet another thing blame for being a little different from everyone else.

 

The study, which was lead-authored by epidemiologist Felicia Rabito, appears in this month's eagerly-awaited issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.




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