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August 18, 1993

Soil Abatement and Lead Levels in Children

Author Affiliations

Milwaukee (Wis) Health Department

JAMA. 1993;270(7):829. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510070051023

To the Editor.  —The study by Weitzman et al1 quantifying changes in children's blood lead levels in response to three different environmental interventions used in and around their homes is a valuable contribution to a field thirsting for quantitative data. Their data, combined with data generated from intervention studies in other locales, may be well used by thoughtful people to construct a cost-benefit analysis of household lead abatement that will guide US health and housing policy in the years to come. Weitzman et al deserve credit for a well-organized and scientifically sound study that in many ways will serve as a model for others.One apparent shortcoming, however, is the lack of a "no abatement" control group. (Because the study was confined to children with low levels of lead exposure [0.34 to 1.16 μmol/L (7 to 24 μg/dL)] in which abatement is of unproven value, one would not be