Spatial Patterns and Health Disparities in Pediatric Lead Exposure in Chicago: Characteristics and Profiles of High-Risk Neighborhoods

The Professional Geographer, Volume 62, Issue 1 February 2010 , pages 46 – 65

Tonny J. Oyana; Florence M. Margai

“Lead poisoning remains a major environmental health threat and a persistent source of health disparities in the United States. In this retrospective study, statistical and geospatial approaches were used to evaluate age- and gender-specific differences in childhood lead prevalence across Chicago, assess the spatiotemporal dynamics of the disease, and identify the socioeconomic and racial composition of high-risk communities. Elevated blood lead levels (≥ 10 μ g/dL of lead) decreased significantly during the study period but disparities persisted across neighborhoods. A significant association was observed between high-risk neighborhoods and housing age, low income, and minority populations. These findings provide insights into the complex geographies of lead exposure and could serve as a basis for developing more targeted health intervention programs. ”

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