Exploring childhood lead exposure through GIS: A review of the recent literature


Childhood exposure to lead remains a critical health control problem in the US. Integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) into childhood lead exposure studies significantly enhanced identifying lead hazards in the environment and determining at risk children. Research indicates that the toxic threshold for lead exposure was updated three times in the last four decades: 60 to 30 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dL) in 1975, 25 μg/dL in 1985, and 10 μb/dL in 1991. These changes revealed the extent of lead poisoning. By 2012 it was evident that no safe blood lead threshold for the adverse effects of lead on children had been identified and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) currently uses a reference value of 5 μg/dL. Review of the recent literature on GIS-based studies suggests that numerous environmental risk factors might be critical for lead exposure. New GIS-based studies are used in surveillance data management, risk analysis, lead exposure visualization, and community intervention strategies where geographically-targeted, specific intervention measures are taken. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Publication Title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health