MSU profs revise lead risk assessment


Michigan State University researchers says they've devised a formula that better targets potential victims of lead poisoning.

Right now, health officials aim to test entire ZIP codes if they're classified as high risk. MSU social scientist Stan Kaplowitz points out that East Lansing's 48823 is 'high risk' because of small pockets of older housing. He says his method uses census data to identify these smaller areas that are most at risk.

"Using census block groups you do much better because East Lansing is divided into multiple census block groups," he explains. "I think one of which is high risk, but the rest of which are not."

Kaplowitz says the approach should enable governments to save money by eliminating unnecessary tests. He says race and other neighborhood characteristics are also part of his formula.