Open access
Research Article
1 July 2003

A study of urban housing demolitions as sources of lead in ambient dust: demolition practices and exterior dust fall.

Publication: Environmental Health Perspectives
Volume 111, Issue 9
Pages 1228 - 1234

Abstract

Demolition of older housing for urban redevelopment purposes benefits communities by removing housing with lead paint and dust hazards and by creating spaces for lead paint-free housing and other community resources. This study was conducted to assess changes, if any, in ambient dust lead levels associated with demolition of blocks of older lead-containing row houses in Baltimore, Maryland (USA). In this article we present results based on dust-fall samples collected from fixed locations within 10 m of three demolition sites. In subsequent reports we will describe dust lead changes on streets, sidewalks, and residential floors within 100 m of the demolition sites. Geometric mean (GM) lead dust-fall rate increased by > 40-fold during demolition to 410 micro g Pb/m2/hr (2,700 micro g Pb/m2 per typical work day) and by > 6-fold during debris removal to 61 micro g Pb/m2/hr (440 micro g Pb/m2 per typical work day). Lead concentrations in dust fall also increased during demolition (GM, 2,600 mg/kg) and debris removal (GM, 1,500 mg/kg) compared with baseline (GM, 950 mg/kg). In the absence of dust-fall standards, the results were compared with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA's) dust-lead surface loading standard for interior residential floors (40 micro g/ft2, equivalent to 431 micro g/m2); daily lead dust fall during demolition exceeded the U.S. EPA floor standard by 6-fold on average and as much as 81-fold on an individual sample basis. Dust fall is of public health concern because it settles on surfaces and becomes a pathway of ambient lead exposure and a potential pathway of residential exposure via tracking and blowing of exterior dust. The findings highlight the need to minimize demolition lead deposition and to educate urban planners, contractors, health agencies, and the public about lead and other community concerns so that society can maximize the benefits of future demolition activities nationwide.

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Information & Authors

Information

Published In

Environmental Health Perspectives
Volume 111Issue 9July 2003
Pages: 1228 - 1234
PubMed: 12842778

History

Published online: 1 July 2003

Authors

Affiliations

Mark R Farfel
Department of Lead Hazard Research, Kennedy Krieger Research Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA. [email protected]
Anna O Orlova
Department of Lead Hazard Research, Kennedy Krieger Research Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA. [email protected]
Peter S J Lees
Department of Lead Hazard Research, Kennedy Krieger Research Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA. [email protected]
Charles Rohde
Department of Lead Hazard Research, Kennedy Krieger Research Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA. [email protected]
Peter J Ashley
Department of Lead Hazard Research, Kennedy Krieger Research Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA. [email protected]
J Julian Chisolm, Jr
Department of Lead Hazard Research, Kennedy Krieger Research Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA. [email protected]

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  • Estimated IQ points and lifetime earnings lost to early childhood blood lead levels in the United States, Science of The Total Environment, 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146307, 778, (146307), (2021).

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