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Lead Project. PROBLEM: What is the common source of lead exposure for the families who have children with high blood lead levels?. HYPOTHESIS:

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What is the common source of lead exposure for the families who have children with high blood lead levels?


If any of the children have been exposed to old lead-containing paint, whether it be from eating chipped paint, particles of chipped paint, or any other possible way of being exposed, then this will be the common source of lead exposure that caused the children’s high blood lead levels.

Background Information

Lead - is anelement that was one of the first known metals. The atomic number of lead is 82; the element is in group 14 of the periodic table "Lead,"

Lead Poisoning

  • Is a weak, soft metal, and a poor conductor of electricity.

  • - USED IN: batteries, sheathing electric cables, lining tanks, X-RAY, paint, pigments, and gasoline.

  • - is a TOXIC substance if internally taken.

  • >Symptoms: anemia,weakness, constipation, colic, palsy, and often a paralysis of the wrists and ankles.

    • > Young children are seriously affected. Lead is toxic to growing brains and nervous systems of fetuses, reduce intelligence, delay motor development, impair memory, and cause hearing problems and troubles in balance.

  • Possible contamination sources:

    • PAINT – many homes build before 1978 have lead based paint, and other old paints were lead based too.

    • SOIL – can pick up lead from exterior paint or from leaded gas from old cars.

    • Drinking Water – plumbing may have lead

    • Household Dust – can pick up lead through soil with lead or chipped paint from walls especially during renovations.

    • Ceramics, lead glazed pottery

    • Old Painted Toys or items

    • Folk remedies- that contain lead, such as "greta" and "azarcon" used to treat an upset stomach.

> Lead Poisoning Definition = blood lead levels > 10ug/dL of whole blood

Blood lead levels


Blood Lead Levels

Observations from home inspection
Observations from Home Inspection

  • The Peterson Family

    • Home is located in an area adjacent to I-95 – can pick up lead from old cars that use leaded-gasoline.

    • Home was built before 1926 – lead-based paint could have been used, old plumbing can contain lead

    • In process of restoring home- dust may contain lead

    • Mother does pottery – possibility of lead contamination also

    • Old swing set also has rusty and flaky paint that may be lead-based.

  • The Hernandez Family

    • Child puts dirt and sticks in mouth – dirt may contain lead depending the area and its surroundings

    • Child’s grandmother gives him medicine from Argentina to help with stomach aches

    • Furniture from south America is painted – paint may be lead-based.

    • Glazed Ceramic Cook Ware – used daily;

  • The Pierre Family

    • Home is old – needs maintenance- peeling paint and area is dusty- plumbing also may be an issue

    • Tenants repair car batteries in the back yard- contains lead

    • Father paints cars

    • Uncle who lives with them, works with applying fertilizer and harvesting produce

      • Carves and paints toys for the children



  • According to the data, the common source of lead exposure for all three families were paints that were lead based; therefore, the hypothesis was supported. Even though paints were the common source there were other possible sources for each family. For example, the Peterson’s lived near a highways where leaded-gas could contaminate the area they live in. The Hernandez’s used glazed ceramic pots daily. The Pierre’s lived in a poorly maintained old house, where a tenant would repair car batteries which for the most batteries contain lead. All the families need to contact officials to have them do what is needed; to get rid and make their homes safe for their children. Also the families need to do what it takes to make sure their kids will be healthy.