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Exide lead contamination levels measured in Vernon

Date:
February 23, 2016
Source:
University of Southern California (USC)
Summary:
For months now, scientists have been investigating the Vernon, California, environmental crisis. Their study indicates that similar to how tree rings show age, young children's teeth rings could reveal lead exposure.
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A portion of the more than $176 million in state funds earmarked for testing and cleanup around a former Exide Technologies plant may go to research on how lead contamination affected the health of residents in a southeast Los Angeles community.

For months now, scientists at USC have been investigating the Vernon, California, environmental crisis.

Jill Johnston, director of USC's Environmental Health Centers Outreach Program, is in the midst of a study to test lead exposure in children living near the Exide facility. The study is in progress, so results are not available yet. Nevertheless, the USC Outreach Program is immersed in a community advisory committee there, so Johnston has a pulse on Vernon's environmental crisis.

A different kind of tooth fairy

"We are collecting shed baby teeth from children who have grown up near Exide. Teeth grow like tree rings and incorporate lead and other metals as they grow. We can analyze each layer of the tooth for lead levels, which tells us fetal and early childhood exposure. Each layer represents about two weeks of exposure, so we can get a sequence of lead exposure data from each tooth."


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Materials provided by University of Southern California (USC). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southern California (USC). "Exide lead contamination levels measured in Vernon." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160223175733.htm>.
University of Southern California (USC). (2016, February 23). Exide lead contamination levels measured in Vernon. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 28, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160223175733.htm
University of Southern California (USC). "Exide lead contamination levels measured in Vernon." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160223175733.htm (accessed May 28, 2017).

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