The Environmentalist

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 69–75 | Cite as

Soil lead contamination at child day care centers in the greater Cincinnati area

  • Charles E. Button


Lead concentrations were determined for soil samples collected at 37 child day care centers located within the greater Cincinnati area. Soil samples were collected within 1.5 m of the exterior walls and throughout the remainder of the outdoor playgrounds of each of the child day care facilities. The soil lead concentrations were utilized as indicators of lead contamination from vehicle emissions and lead based paints. Mean lead concentrations were determined through Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry. Soil lead concentrations were significantly higher within 1.5 m of the exterior walls than the rest of the outdoor play areas of the child day care centers (< .05). There was a highly significant association between higher soil lead concentrations for child day care centers built prior to 1980 (< .01). It was also found that a highly significant association exists between higher soil lead concentrations for child day care centers located within 2.5 km of the nearest interstate highway (< .01). The findings of this research point to a clear need for concern about lead contamination at child day care centers and other facilities that large numbers of children frequent on a daily basis.


Children Contamination Lead Soil 


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The author thanks numerous people and organizations for their assistance and contributions to this research project. Gratitude is extended to: Holly Gleason for her assistance in gathering and organizing soil samples; the 4C for Children program of Cincinnati for providing contact information for child day care centers; Dr. Joseph Caruso for granting use of the University of Cincinnati spectrometry laboratory; Dr. Jason Day for his assistance in conducting spectroscopy analysis of the samples; Dr. Warren Huff for granting use of University of Cincinnati Geology laboratory; Kevin Carifa and Rezart Merzini, CCSU graduate students, for providing assistance with ArcGIS applications and development of maps.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyCentral Connecticut State UniversityNew BritainUSA

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