University of Texas at El Paso

 El Paso - Cd. Juarez Minimize

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The process of the lead study

Component 1: Outdoor

Community health workers from AYUDA, our partner community organization, collected soil samples in public areas around selected blocks of El Paso County. A total of 500 blocks were sampled. The soil samples collected were analyzed in the Geochemistry laboratory at UTEP.  A map of the geographic distribution of lead in soil can be found in the “preliminary results” link. All the identifiable information obtained during our study is confidential and will not be available on the results.

How did we decide which areas to test?

Census tracts from El Paso and AGEB from Cd. Juarez were used to define the geographic sections. Each section was grouped according to population density of approximately 13,000 people + 2, 000 in El Paso and 24,300 people + 2,000 in Cd. Juarez. A total of 50 strata were created.  Within each stratum, 10 blocks were randomly selected with a total of 500 blocks selected to participate in the study. This statistical procedure to select the area ensures that results provide an accurate estimate of the entire population in the region.


Component 2: Indoor

A total of 1,200 households are being invited to participate. The households were randomly selected from the blocks chosen according to the procedure described in Component 1. Once the consent is granted, the community health workers conduct a survey and collect samples of soil, dust, and water. This information will help us estimate the children’s risk of exposure to lead in the Paso Del Norte region.

Component 3: Blood Lead Levels in Children

A total of 200 children between the ages of six months and 12 years are being invited by the community health workers to participate in our blood evaluation. Once accepted, the procedure is conducted by a phlebotomist the will conduct a survey and draw blood. These children were selected from the blocks and households selected randomly from each stratum. This component will help us estimate the blood lead levels on children living at the Paso Del Norte region. All information obtained is confidential and no identifiers will be available on the results.

Component 4: Lead Levels Burden in the Bone of Children

A total of 25 children between the ages of 8 and 12 years will be invited to participate on the bone analysis. This component will measure the lead stored in the tibia bone as a result of long term exposures to lead. The analysis is painless and similar to an x-ray test.

Component 5: Community Participation

Members of community-based organizations are active partners in this project. Community health workers from these organizations are better suited to reach the public and to disseminate prevention information and project results, thanks to their experience and close contact with residents. This design assures that the study is cultural and linguistically appropriate