News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 17, 2013

Indiana State, city officials battling lead contamination

TERRE HAUTE — Students and faculty at Indiana State University are working with Terre Haute  officials and the Vigo County Health Department to help keep children safe from a threat common to  communities with older housing.

Nursing students test children’s blood for lead poisoning, and earth and environmental systems students test soil for lead contamination.

“Any amount of lead in the body of a young child is a health risk,” said Esther Acree, associate professor of nursing and director of the Sycamore Nursing Center. “The effects can be devastating, leading to permanent loss of IQ, developmental challenges and the potential for violent tendencies.”

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered by half the threshold for determining lead poisoning in young children. In announcing the new standard for persons under 6, health officials said the change means as many as 1 million children nationwide could now be diagnosed with the condition that can permanently damage developing brains. That’s a fourfold increase from the number of preschoolers believed to be at risk under the previous standard.

While Indiana has yet to adopt the new standard of 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood statewide, some local health departments, including Vigo County, are following the new guidelines. City officials say about one-half of all homes in Terre Haute were built before 1950 and pose a risk from lead-based paint, which was banned for U.S. homes in 1978.

Since 2004, junior-level nursing students have conducted lead screenings at Locust Street IGA, at the Sycamore Nursing Center, at Head Start and at community health fairs.

The health department provides nursing students with hands-on training in the prevention, treatment and follow-up for lead poisoning, said Joni Wise, department administrator.

“Lead poisoning is entirely preventable,” she said. “The key is stopping children from coming into contact with lead and treating children who have been poisoned by lead.”

Student nurses work with the department on case management for children. They also help educate parents, guardians and caregivers on how to prevent exposure, Wise said.

The health department estimates about 1,100 Vigo County children are screened each year with more than 11 percent testing positive – a rate twice the state average.

In recent years, faculty and students in the department of earth and environmental systems have become involved by testing soil samples throughout the city.

“There are some areas that have elevated levels, there are some that don’t,” said Jennifer Latimer, associate professor of geology. “There are … brick homes that have elevated lead levels in their yards, whereas homes that were probably painted with lead-based paint at some point don’t have elevated levels so it’s highly variable.”

Last year, students took soil samples from the Terre Haute Community Garden, located on university-owned property east of campus where several older homes once stood. As with previous studies, the results varied widely.

Gardeners who grow food not only for their own families but also to donate to local food banks – a requirement for staking out a plot at the community garden – welcomed the testing.

“To know specifically whether one’s individual plot was heavy in lead or not is something that’s very valuable to have,” said John Halladay. “You can either plant different crops there or do various kinds of emendations.”

Joey Pettit, a Ph.D. student in earth and spatial systems, tested soil from outside the Early Childhood Education Center at University Apartments and found no lead problem.

City officials plan to use the results of ISU students’ tests to help create a map identifying at risk areas.

“It makes me feel quite good” to have played a role in the ongoing effort, Pettit said. “Some of the lead testing … goes to the city planner. He then knows a little bit more about what is going on … and he can make decisions based on that information.”

The department of earth and environmental systems offers free soil testing to residents who want to participate. If tests find high lead concentrations in yards or gardens, faculty will provide recommendations for managing the situation. Interested person may request information at isu-lead@mail.indstate.edu or through the Institute for Community Sustainability.

In collaboration with the institute, Wabash Valley Master Gardeners Association and the Purdue Extension Office, the department will also offer safe urban gardening workshops during the gardening season.

The first step in treating lead poisoning is to remove the source of the contamination or seal lead-containing products, such as paint, Latimer said. Lead in soil generally does not pose a threat unless it is disturbed or if it becomes airborne. Children are more susceptible to lead dust exposure because of their hand-to-mouth behaviors, and ingestion is a common route of exposure, she said.

“That’s probably one of the biggest problems we have,” Latimer said. “Studies have shown that kids actually have elevated levels of lead in the summer just from playing outside because there’s more lead dust in the atmosphere.”

The best way to prevent lead in soil from presenting a health risk is to keep it covered with mulch or vegetation, Latimer said. Gardeners should be sure to thoroughly clean and peel vegetables before eating and avoid tracking dirt into the home. Also, cleaning floors with a wet cloth or mop is preferable to vacuuming.

Nancy Rogers, associate vice president for academic affairs and director of Indiana State’s Center for Community Engagement, said the lead testing and education work of students and faculty is a prime example of how community-based research and service benefits both students and the community.

“Some families would not even know if their children had elevated lead levels in their blood if it was not for the testing that our students provided,” Rogers said. “My hope is that we can continue to work with community partners to build on this important work.”

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • MET072514 invenadamson step.jpg ‘Minds-on camp’

    Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”

    July 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Linda Tincher.jpg Riley lion’s roar goes global

    Linda L. Tincher has become the first woman from Indiana elected to serve as an international director for Lions Clubs International. She was chosen earlier this month during the clubs’ 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET072514 SPPRAK glasses.jpg Kindness ‘undercover’

    Hundreds of people gathered at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Friday for a night of baseball, music, the “Green Man” and green shades.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Residents ‘stuff the bus’ with pencils, notebooks, backpacks

    After exiting a Wal-Mart store in Clinton, Roger E. Richardson stopped his shopping cart Friday in front of a large yellow South Vermillion School Corporation bus.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man faces 9 charges in homicide case

    A Solsberry man faces nine criminal charges related to a July 18 homicide and rape in rural Greene County.

    July 25, 2014 1 Story

  • maroon truck.jpg UPDATE: Rockville man dies after head-on collision

    A Rockville man has died from injuries he sustained this afternoon in a two-vehicle, head-on crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • red truck.jpg Head-on crash leaves Rockville man seriously injured

    A Rockville man was air-lifted to an Indianapolis hospital with serious injuries this afternoon following a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 25, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • Measles case confirmed in Central Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in Central Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Health is working with local health departments and health care providers to identify additional cases of measles, and to prevent further transmission of the disease.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

    CHICAGO (AP) — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

  • 4 doctors arrested after Indiana clinic raids

    CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say four doctors have been arrested on charges of improperly prescribing a drug used to treat painkiller addiction from several Indiana offices.

    July 25, 2014

  • holiday world thunderbird.jpg Holiday World plans new winged roller coaster

    SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) — The Holiday World amusement park in southern Indiana is building a new $22 million roller coaster that it says will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop and four inversions.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis pulls future support for Amtrak line

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — City officials in Indianapolis have cast the future of an Amtrak passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago into doubt after deciding not to provide any additional money to subsidize that line.

    July 25, 2014

  • Pence leading annual governor’s motorcycle ride

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is leading the annual governor’s motorcycle ride from the Statehouse through southern Indiana.

    July 25, 2014

  • State asks judge to delay right-to-work ruling

    CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana attorney general’s office has asked a judge to put on hold his order striking down the state’s right-to-work law.

    July 25, 2014

  • MET 072414 HOESS 01KOR.jpg Voices from Auschwitz: Ties that bind

    A message that has spread like wildfire across Europe can easily translate to America.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • Minimum wage frozen after 5 years

    Thursday marked the fifth anniversary since the federal minimum wage was increased, a wage U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez contends should again be raised.

    July 24, 2014

  • MET072414 CANDLES shake.jpg ISU, CANDLES join to ‘illuminate the world’

    Indiana State University and CANDLES Holocaust Museum are joining forces to educate current and future generations about the Holocaust, genocide and related issues.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • MET072414 JA hadley.jpg 50 years later, still business as usual

    Junior Achievement of the Wabash Valley marked its 50th anniversary hosting a luau Thursday at the Ohio Building in Terre Haute.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two semis collide; one driver injured

    A semi-trailer driver from North Carolina was airlifted to Methodist Hospital Thursday after his vehicle collided with another tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in far western Vigo County.

    July 24, 2014

  • Valley talent returns for show tonight

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo is scheduled to be back at The Verve tonight to perform the last installment of its 2014 series.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police find 2 meth labs in 1 house

    The Clay County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday arrested a Staunton man and a Terre Haute woman on felony charges of manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police say man broke into prison building

    A man living at a Carlisle motel has been arrested for trespassing and criminal mischief after he allegedly kicked in a prison building door.

    July 24, 2014

  • Driver airlifted to Methodist after I-70 crash

    A semi-trailer driver from North Carolina was airlifted to Methodist Hospital today after his vehicle collided with another tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in far western Vigo County.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lunes Domingo, Bear Foote Jackson at The Verve July 25

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo will be back at The Verve on Friday, July 25, to perform the last installment of their 2014 series. Cost is $3.

    July 24, 2014

  • West T Water Works issues boil order

    The West Terre Haute Water Works announced this morning that a boil order is in effect until further notice for the community of West Terre Haute and Sugar Creek Township.

    July 24, 2014

  • Grease fire closes Terre Haute restaurant for short time

    A grease fire closed the Golden Corral for about three hours on Wednesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 24, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.

    July 24, 2014

  • Bloomington helping with beer brewery’s project

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — The city of Bloomington is helping a beer brewery with an expansion of its downtown restaurant and bar.

    July 24, 2014

  • Family: Teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks

    PLAINFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren’t achieved without taking chances.

    July 24, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity