Blood Lead Levels in Chicago Day Laborers. Susan Buchanan, MD, MPH Anne Evens, MS Cile Buckley, MPH Lee Friedman, PhD

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1 Blood Lead Levels in Chicago Day Laborers Susan Buchanan, MD, MPH Anne Evens, MS Cile Buckley, MPH Lee Friedman, PhD

2 Valenzuela A et al. On the Corner: Day Labor in the United States. UCLA Center for Study of Urban Poverty

3 Valenzuela A et al. On the Corner: Day Labor in the United States. UCLA Center for Study of Urban Poverty

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5 Job Task Painting (Indoor and Outdoor) Roofing Erecting and tearing down drywall Demolition Laying concrete Sanding wall surfaces Yardwork and Landscaping Moving Electrical work Plumbing Bathroom tiling Laying floor Carpet removal Cleaning outdoor windows Trimming trees Frequency (N=21)

6 Occupational Hazard Roofing without safety equipment Heat Exposure Cold Exposure Working at heights on ladders Electrical Hazards Paint fumes Solvents Heavy lifting Falling objects during demolition Cleaning chemicals Nail guns Insulation Electric Saw Protruding nails in flooring Number of workers reporting hazard (N=21 workers)

7 Injuries Nail in foot (through shoes) Broken arm Elbow contusion with subsequent fluid collection Low back pain Hand lacerations (cutting dry wall) Fall from ladder Crushed fingernail Foot contusion

8 Hypothesis Non-use of PPE Lead in Chicago housing stock Day laborers performing demolition and window installation

9 Farfel M et al. A study of urban housing demolitions as sources of lead ambient dust: demolition practices and exterior dust fall. Environ Health Perspect 2003;111: Yassin et al. Blood Lead Levels in US Workers, J Occup Environ Med 2004;46 Reynolds et al. Prevalence of elevated blood lead levels and exposure to lead in construction trades in Iowa and Illinois. Am J Ind Med 1999;36 Ambient dust lead levels during demolition of older row houses in Baltimore 30,731 NHANES participants 459 unionized painters, plumbers, electricians, laborers, ironworkers Daily lead dust fall during demolition was on average 6-fold higher than US EPA dust-lead surface loading standard of interior residential floors GM male workers 3.3 mcg/dl, highest prev of BLL >10 in construction laborers (GM 4.44 mcg/dl) GM BLL laborers 7.6 mcg/dl, painters 5.9 mcg/dl. Primary work was new construction, renovation and demolition

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11 Methods Day laborers at 3 hiring sites: Albany Park Workers Center Street corner hiring site big box home improvement store parking lot Autumn 2005, Summer 2006

12 Methods Questionnaire on demographics, work activities in the past month: - demolition, window installation or removal, removing paint Blood for lead level Tetanus shot offered

13 Results - Demographics Gender Age Country of origin

14 Pb by Individual

15 Blood Lead Level Distribution Lead level (mcg/dl) (N=92) Frequency Percent

16 Results

17 Results Laborers Geometric Mean - GM (mcg/dl) Arithmetic Mean (mcg/dl) Arithmetic Median (mcg/dl) N = ( )

18 Blood Lead Level (GM) by hiring site Hiring site Albany Park Street Corner (N=44) Blood Lead Level mcg/dl (range) 3.6 (r= ) Albany Park Workers' Center (N=21) Home Depot Parking Lot (N=27) * Wilcoxin Rank Sum 3.8 (r= ) 4.1 (r= ) p= 0.708*

19 Blood lead level (GM) by country of origin Country of origin Mexico Ecuador Guatemala United States Other p= Frequency 54 (59%) 19 (21%) 12 (13%) 3 (3%) 4 (4%) BLL mcg/dl (range) 4.5 (r= ) 2.7 (r= ) 2.9 (r= ) 5.5 (r= ) 3.0 (r= ) Other = El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru

20 Blood lead level (GM) by age Age 18 to 24 years 25 to 34 years 35 to 44 years 45 years and above Frequency 11 (12%) 29 (32%) 32 (35%) 20 (22%) BLL mcg/dl (range) 3.0 (r= ) 2.9 (r= ) 4.5 (r= ) 4.9 (r= ) p=0.088

21 Blood lead level (GM) by work activity Demolition work in past month Yes (N=75) No (N=17) Window Removal in past month Yes (N=54) No (N=38) Paint Removal in past month Yes (N=70) No (N=22) Blood Lead Level (mcg/dl) 3.9 (r= ) 3.5 (r= ) 4.4 (r= ) 3.1 (r= ) 4.0 (r= ) 3.1 (r= ) P-value (Wilcoxin Rank Sum) ~ ~ ~ 0.271

22 Number of construction activities in past month (demolition, windows, paint) Blood lead level mcg/dl (range) P-value None (N=6) 1.9 (r= ) ~ One (N=14) 3.9 (r= ) ~ Two (N=31) 3.6 (r= ) ~ Three (N=41) 4.4 (r= ) 0.089

23 Use of protective mask or clothing Blood lead level mcg/dl (range) P-value No information (N=5) 2.7 (r= ) ~ Never (N=34) 4.2 (r= ) ~ Sometimes (N=34) Most of the time/always (N=19) 2.8 (r= ) 5.8 (r= ) ~ 0.007

24 NHANES Mexican- American men (18-64 yo) Mexican- American men (18-64 yo) Chicago Day Laborers 3.4 ( ) GM 2.3 ( ) GM 3.8 GM

25 Conclusions Overall, levels were lower than expected Mean is higher than NHANES for similar population Significant risk factors: window removal or installation and use of PPE

26 Future Directions in Chicago Day Labor Research Obtain more detail on job tasks and work conditions Hazard and injury surveillance in temporary agency workers Intervention Effectiveness peer training, empowerment Public policy Chicago Day Labor ordinance, Temp agency Code of Conduct

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