Mapping for prevention: GIS models for directing childhood lead poisoning prevention programs

Marie Lynn Miranda, Dana C. Dolinoy, M. Alicia Overstreet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Environmental threats to children's health - especially low-level lead exposure - are complex and multifaceted; consequently, mitigation of these threats has proven costly and insufficient and has produced economic and racial disparities in exposure among populations. Policy makers, public health officials, child advocates, and others currently lack the appropriate infrastructure to evaluate children's risk and exposure potential across a broad range of risks. Unable to identify where the highest risk of exposure occurs, children's environmental health programs remain mitigative instead of preventive. In this article we use geographic information system spatial analysis of data from blood lead screening, county tax assessors, and the U.S. Census to predict statistically based lead exposure risk levels mapped at the individual tax parcel unit in six counties in North Carolina. The resulting model uses weighted risk factors to spatially locate modeled exposure zones, thus highlighting critical areas for targeted intervention. The methods presented here hold promise for application and extension to the other 94 North Carolina counties and nationally, as well as to other environmental health risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-953
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Children's health
  • Environmental justice
  • Geographic information system
  • Lead

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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