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Blood Lead Levels in Noranda Children Following Removal of Smelter-contaminated Yard Soil

Daniel Gagné
Canadian Journal of Public Health / Revue Canadienne de Santé Publique
Vol. 85, No. 3 (MAY / JUNE 1994), pp. 163-166
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41991139
Page Count: 4
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Abstract

In 1979, children two to five years of age living in Rouyn-Noranda, QC, in an urban district located within 1 km from a copper smelter had mean (geometric) blood lead levels (BLL) of 21 μg/dL. Afterwards, stack emissions were lowered. In 1989, mean (geom.) BLL were reduced to 11 μg/dL; 50% of the district children had BLL less than 10 μg/dL. In 1990-91, a $3 million top soil removal operation took place; residential lots having more than 500 ppm soil lead were decontaminated. In 1991, BLL were reduced to 7 μg/dL; 75% of the children had less than 10 μg/dL. Geographic analysis of the 1991 results showed that children with the highest BLL lived nearest to the smelter, where atmospheric dustfall to the ground reached 36 mg/m²/month. Follow-up pédiatrie blood lead campaigns are planned in 1993 and 1995, to evaluate the effects of an ongoing program for further reduction of atmospheric smelter emissions. En 1979, les enfants de deux à cinq ans vivant à Rouyn-Noranda, QC, dans un quartier urbain situé à l'intérieur d'un rayon de 1 km d'une usine de smeltage du cuivre avaient une plombémie moyenne (géom.) de 21 μg/dL. Par la suite, les émissions aux cheminées diminuèrent. En 1989, la plombémie moyenne (géom.) se situait à 11 μg/dL, avec 50 % des enfants ayant <10 μg/dL. En 1990-91, après une intervention de $3 millions pour décontaminer les sols de surface, on ramena la plombémie moyenne à 7 μg/dL, avec 75 % des enfants ayant <10 pg/dL. Une analyse géographique des résultats montre que les enfants qui, en 1991, avaient les plombémies les plus élevées, vivaient dans la zone la plus rapprochée de l'usine, là où les retombées de plomb au sol atteignaient 36 mg/m²/mois. Deux autres dépistages sont prévus (en 1993 et 1995) pour évaluer l'efficacité d'un programme de réduction des émissions atmosphériques diffuses de l'usine.

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