SOUTH BEND — People tend to think that when children get lead poisoning, it’s caused by paint chips or contaminated water. But soil surrounding homes shouldn’t be overlooked.
That was the message driven home Thursday by Dr. Gabriel Filippelli, professor of earth sciences and director of the Center for Urban Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Filippelli, who studies lead contamination problems in Indianapolis, had some advice for South Bend during his presentation at the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Center.
Community leaders here have largely blamed lead-based paint in old homes for the stubborn problem with lead-poisoned children. Recently released state testing data exposed a long-standing pattern of many children under age 7 being tested with high levels of lead in their blood on South Bend’s near northwest side.