The risk of lead toxicity in homes with lead paint hazard

Environ Res. 1991 Feb;54(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/s0013-9351(05)80189-6.


While lead paint has long been known to be a major source of lead poisoning, only a few small epidemiologic studies have attempted to assess directly the relative risk of lead poisoning due to the presence of lead paint. Using data from over 200,000 screening tests of children in the city of Chicago performed between 1976 and 1980, the relative risks can be quantified for children living in a major urban area. Lead paint was found to be a significant predictor of the probability of a child having lead toxicity. As expected, the reduction in leaded gasoline sales during the period reduced mean blood lead levels and increased the percentage of lead toxic children whose toxicity could be attributed to paint lead. Poisson regression models indicated that with the elimination of leaded gasoline, the relative risk of lead toxicity given lead paint exposure was 5.70 (95% CI, 4.13-7.86) during the winter and fall. The relative risk rose to 12.81 (95% CI, 7.33-22.4) in the spring and 15.8 (95% CI, 8.90-28.1) in the summer, probably due to increased exposure to window wells.

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Lead / blood*
  • Lead Poisoning / epidemiology
  • Lead Poisoning / etiology*
  • Lead Poisoning / prevention & control
  • Mass Screening
  • Paint / poisoning*
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Probability
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons


  • Lead