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Blood tests show no elevated levels of lead in campus children

STANFORD -- Blood samples taken from almost 50 Stanford campus children in April have shown no elevated levels of lead, according to Cowell Student Health Center officials.

The free, voluntary blood tests were offered last month after campus health and safety inspectors found paint on the borderline of the federal definition of "lead-containing" in the Escondido Village graduate student housing complex, where most campus children live.

A total of 50 blood tests were done, with results back on 46. All showed less than 5 milligrams of lead per deciliter, "essentially negative," according to Dr. Harvey Weinstein, director of the student health center. "We do not expect the additional four to show elevated blood levels either," he said.

Stanford health and safety officials also have retested interior paint samples in Escondido Village using a more sensitive atomic absorption method. Except for the paint on one interior heater, all the samples that had originally tested positive for lead were found to be below the federal definition of lead-containing. Retesting of the exterior paint with be done sometime in the near future.

Tests of soil and sand done to date at Escondido Village also have shown no elevated levels of lead, according to Janet Gleason, health and safety coordinator at Stanford Housing and Food Services.

National studies have found that small children who regularly ingest lead - for example, by eating paint chips - can experience decreased intelligence and impaired neurobehavioral development.



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