A Screening Kit to Protect Southbend Children
Many children in the United States have elevated blood lead levels and South Bend, Indiana has some of the highest rates. Upon learning that South Bend had so many lead poisoned children Dr. Peaslee joined the Notre Dame Lead Innovation Team to change the current paradigm of lead testing. The current lead testing methods wait until a lead poisoned child has been brought to the attention of the local health department and then a full lead risk assessment is performed on the home. Instead, we wanted to reverse this structure and find a way to test home environments first, before children are lead poisoned.
This led to the development of the lead screening kit which allows home residents to test soil, paint, dust and water samples for lead in their home. Then, through a partnership with the St. Joseph County Health Department, residents that had elevated results can be prioritized for lead risk assessments ultimately allowing for more access to funding and knowledge for how to remediate their homes and minimize their lead risks. Since the development of the kit in 2018, we have analyzed over 600 homes throughout Indiana.
Tighe, M., Knaub, C., Sisk, M., Ngai, M., Lieberman, M., Peaslee, G.F., Beidinger, H. Validation of a screening kit to identify environmental lead hazards. Environmental Research, 181, (2020).
Tighe, M., Bielski, M., Wilson, M., Ruscio-Atkinson, G., Peaslee, G.F., Lieberman, M. A Sensitive XRF Screening Method for Lead in Drinking Water. Analytical Chemistry, 92 (7), 4949-4953 (2020).