Effect of Lead on the Health of Children

The article From Dust to Blood: Studies Predict Lead Intake in Children by Rebecca Kessler talks about how children can be lead poisoned at their own homes. Although, lead in children’s blood has already decreased, many has sensed the threat of acquiring not lessened amount of dust and lead. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has set a maximum level of lead in the blood that can be considered safe and not harmful. This amount will be their standard in determining any threat or concern regarding lead amount in the blood.

Because the organization found that children are at risk of having lead levels above the standard, the US CDC is alarmed. Lead content has effects on our body. Too much of it, especially to children, can lead to an increased risk of cognitive impairment and behavioral problems. Studies also shows that if lead content is found to be too low, there can also be adverse effects. According to the article, the lead exposure has decreased due to the initiative of the government and also because of the voluntary actions of concerned manufacturers.

In spite of these efforts, the threat of lead exposure has not been eliminated. This is because one source of lead that could affect children’s health would be house dust. They found that the floor and the windowsill contains lead which can be harmful especially to the children. Researchers surveyed homes in the US and found that there is a low percentage of these homes which exceeds beyond the standard for dust lead. The US CDC has the goal of eliminating the elevated levels of blood lead to children by 2010.

To accomplish this, they do preventive measures like participating in prevention programs, conducting studies and seeking scientific evidence to support decisions that could be done in line with the prevention of lead poisoning among children and to make sure that there are decisions that are addressed in accordance to the health issues and the environment. The article also concluded that the homes in the US is safe based on their performance according to the standard. However, the article suggested that it would be best if the US will be tightening its standard to serve the protection of the residents.

The clinical intervention model In the clinical intervention model, the individual is affected by the environment which could lead to diseases. The model shows intervention which occurs after onset of the disease, only to prevent death. This model can be used if the effect of lead level in the blood has already affected the individual that much. For prevention of the disease, it cannot be that helpful. The Public Health Intervention Model In this model, intervention occurs before the environment could affect the public and before the onset of the disease.

For the case of preventing diseases caused by dust lead, this model can be very helpful and effective. There is intervention whenever the environment is affecting the public. This has been the model adopted by many organization. Most organizations that are concerned with public health address issues between public health and environment. This is what the US CDC is doing to improve public health. The US CDC takes effect on improving public health by conducting programs that addresses health issues related to the environment. The organization already considers the environment as affecting public health.

They include the environment as a factor whenever they study about diseases. What the organization does is to relate environment and certain diseases to the public. This is different from clinical intervention model because the purpose of the intervention is preventive. Clinical intervention model is more on cure. The Environmental Stewardship Model This model makes intervention between the public and the environment. This is a more preventive approach than the public health intervention model, but, it is, rather, impractical, for the case of lead poisoning in children as discussed on the article because the exposure occurs at home.

In the environmental stewardship model, the intervention is to act before any reaction takes place between the public and the environment so that no conflict will result. In public health intervention model, there is the presence of a conflict more affecting the public health. It is impractical because the environment cannot be separated from the target public. There will always be a conflict that will arise because the environment considered here is the homes of the children. Maybe, in other cases, it can be effective.

For example, eliminating access to a certain contaminated environment. In the case discussed, access of the public to the environment cannot be eliminated.


Kessler, Rebecca. 2009. From Dust to Blood: Studies Predict Lead Intake in Children. Environment Health Perspectives. 117: 3. Retrieved March 4, 2009 from http://www. ehponline. org/docs/2009/117-3/ss. html#from. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2009. Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. Retrieved March 4, 2009 from http://www. cdc. gov/nceh/lead/.

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