Lead Levels in Landfill Areas and Childhood Exposure: An Integrative Review.

Authors: Kim MA, Williams KA


Public Health Nurs. 2017 Jan;34(1):87-97

OBJECTIVE: Landfills are high-risk areas for environmental lead exposure for children living in poverty stricken areas in many countries. This review examines landfills and lead toxicity in children. The review discusses the effects of lead toxicity, provides evidenced based recommendations to reduce lead exposure, and identify gaps in the evidence.
DESIGN AND SAMPLE: A database search was conducted of articles in English from 1985 to 2014. Ten articles met the inclusion criteria. The Whittemore and Knafl framework and the John Hopkins Research Evidence Appraisal Tool(©) were used for reviewing the data.
RESULTS: Elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) of children living near landfills were related to increased soil lead levels. Toxic effects of lead included adverse outcomes such as encephalopathy or death for children. Different approaches to decrease lead level include environmental surveillance, BLL screening, and soil abatement which are costly.
CONCLUSION: Increased BLL through environmental exposure is connected with poor health outcomes and death among children. Evidence-based prevention included monitoring and screening and costly soil abatement. It is recommended that future studies focus on community education for exposure avoidance for children living near landfill areas.



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