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Fixing up 'this old house' may increase young
Date:5/3/2008

CINCINNATI Ripping out and tearing down to create a divinely designed home, a la HGTV, is all the rage today and the economic downturn may be leading more families to renovate rather than relocate. But a new study has found that parents need to be aware that all this interior renovation can put their children's health at risk due to exposure to lead.

The study conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center found that interior renovation of older housing is associated with a modest increase in childrens blood lead level (BLL) and associated long-term health risks. These findings will be presented by co-author Stephen Wilson, M.D., at the Pediatric Academic Society (PAS) annual meeting in Honolulu on May 3.

Any person working on a home where children reside or visit frequently should know that their renovation work could cause lead hazards for the kids if the home was built before 1978, when the government banned lead-based paint in housing, said Adam Spanier, M.D., Ph.D. M.P.H., the studys lead author and director of the Pediatric Environmental Health and Lead Clinic at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center.

The study of 249 children, all living in homes built before 1978, found that those who resided in houses where renovations had been done had higher blood lead levels than those in houses where no renovating had been done. Researchers used multivariable analysis to find that the kids who had lived through renovation projects had a 12 percent increase in mean BLL by age 2 compared with other children (p<0.01). The increase in BLL seemed related directly to the renovation work, given that if renovation took place within one month prior to measurement, 2-year-old children had a 1.6 micrograms per deciliter increase in average BLL and if the renovation was more recent (within a month before blood tests were done), compared to an average jump of 0.8 micrograms per deciliter in children whose hous
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Contact: Amy Caruso
Amy.Caruso@cchmc.org
513-636-5637
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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