View Full Version : Lead Exposure by Zip Code?
Th schools just provided a list of state-wide zip codes. If you live in these zip codes, you MUST be tested for lead! Crazy! The list has no relation to the age of your residence, or such logical factors. Have other SDopers seen this? And, do any SDopers know the basis behind this? Is it simply the Health Dept being pushed around by local bureaucrats? Surely, it is easier to legislate the masses than confuse people with the scientific facts!
04-17-2010, 08:57 AM
While I don't actually know what state you live in or what list you're talking about, states Departments of Health will sometimes send out lists of zip codes where there's a high risk of lead contamination, and recommend that students from those zip codes get tested. Lead poisoning can have serious effects, especially on kids.
04-17-2010, 10:29 AM
Is it simply the Health Dept being pushed around by local bureaucrats? Surely, it is easier to legislate the masses than confuse people with the scientific facts!
Let's refrain from political commentary of this kind in GQ, and stick to the factual basis for the policy. I also note that it would have been helpful in the OP to provide the identity of the state involved, or a link.
General Questions Moderator
04-17-2010, 10:50 AM
Are zip codes scientific facts?
04-17-2010, 09:08 PM
In the lead belt in Missouri, the areas downwind from the smelters/manufacturing facilities have much higher concentrations of lead than other areas at the same distance. Zip codes are as good a way as any for plotting the at-risk areas on a map, and a good deal more user-friendly than, for example, telling someone that if they live less than 15 miles from the smelter within a compass range of 65-110 degrees, they're in a hot zone.
Here's the Missouri map (warning pdf). Note that from St. Louis County southwest to Iron County, only selected parts of the counties are flagged for universal testing. Can you come up with a better breakout than Zip code?
04-18-2010, 08:05 PM
Crazy! The list has no relation to the age of your residence, or such logical factors.What is logical about the age of your residence? Lead-based paint? Surely that's been painted over by now.
The largest amount of lead exposure is from auto exhaust. So kids living near major highways, especially congested ones, would likely be breathing in more lead than those living in other areas. So zip codes would seem to be an obvious way to identify this. (I'm not sure if zip codes are specific enough -- many cover a fairly large area. Might need to use Zip+4 codes to be really accurate.)
04-18-2010, 08:36 PM
The largest amount of lead exposure is from auto exhaust.
Leaded fuel has been banned since 1996, so I doubt this is true anymore.
04-19-2010, 07:45 AM
If you live in these zip codes, you MUST be tested for lead!
You = school aged children, correct? Just want to clear up that they are not mandating testing for anyone other than those of school age. There are other programs mandating, for instance, dental care, vaccinations, eye care, etc.
04-19-2010, 12:04 PM
What is logical about the age of your residence? Lead-based paint? Surely that's been painted over by now.
The largest amount of lead exposure is from auto exhaust. Nope, it's pretty much lead paint that's the biggest issue now (in the U.S. anyway). See, auto exhaust all pretty much falls out of the air pretty quickly, so once unleaded gasoline came into effect (you remember the change over?), the exposure dropped quickly.
But lead paint is still there, and still slowly coming off of the wall, even if it's been painted over. [Generally, the biggest problem isn't big chips coming off, but rather surfaces abrading and creating dust, which gets into kids mouths because they're crawling around and always putting their hands in their mouths. Window frames are actually a major source. ]
So yes, absent specific issues (such as smelters), age of the building is the biggest risk factor in lead exposure (short of physically investigating the house to see what kind of paint is actually there).
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.