Biomonitoring for Environmental Lead Exposure in Children From Pre-1970s Housing in St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador
Older residential neighbourhoods in St. Johns, NL, have lead levels in soil and house dust above health-based guidelines, primarily related to the past use of leaded paint and coal-burning. Soil-lead levels are sufficiently high to warrant public health concern, especially for young children who are more sensitive to the health effects of lead. Previous studies in St. Johns have established a relationship between higher residential lead levels and older housing stock and identified housing age categories where children are expected to be at risk of elevated blood lead levels. We are conducting a blood lead survey that targets young children living in a range of housing ages in St. Johns to test whether children are in fact exposed to lead. Concurrent measurement of residential lead levels in the sample households will permit an evaluation of exposure sources and pathways which will inform decision-making on exposure reduction and mitigation and help target educational initiatives in city neighbourhoods.