Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Public Health


Lead in soil has been shown to be a significant pathway of lead exposure in children. Several factors including age of housing units, exterior composition, and paint loading may affect the amount of lead present in the soil. The purpose of this study was to analyze soil lead levels on properties located in an historic district and relate those levels to the variables previously mentioned. A total of 30 soil samples were collected from housing units in a nationally recognized historic district. Concentrations of lead in the soil were analyzed using a NITON X-ray Fluorescence Spectrum Analyzer, following EPA Method 6200 and the instrument protocol. Significant differences were found between the soil lead levels and paint loading (fully painted vs. non-painted). Significant differences were also found between soil lead levels and exterior surface (frame, brick, and other). A correlation analysis revealed there was no correlation between housing age and soil lead levels. Soil lead can be used as a predictor of blood lead levels in children. Using the information regarding soil lead concentration, the relative risk of exposure to lead and the subsequent health effects can be estimated for children living in the study area. The results from this study can also be used to initiate other studies and develop educational strategies for the district.


Environmental Health and Protection | Public Health