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Augustana Students Identify Risk of Local Lead Exposure

One Augustana College student spent his summer mapping out what areas of Scott County are at the highest risk for lead contamination. Today, senior Tanner Osing presented his findings-- the first step in a series of projects aimed at eliminating lead paint exposure in the area. 

In May, Scott County began a partnership with Augustana, with the hope that students will come up with creative solutions to the problem. Director Michael Reisner says 50 children are poisoned from lead paint each year in the county. 
He says 40,000 houses in Scott County are likely to contain lead paint.  But, Osing, a public health major, spent the summer researching the specific risk factors for local homes. 

By comparing house age, social economic status, and race, Osing found 21,000 pre-1955 homes are at the highest risk for lead contamination. Reisner says it costs over $12,000 to eliminate lead paint in a home. It would take about $8 million to repair the homes Osing identified. 

Augustana students from various majors will take Osing's findings and work to find the funding and best practices for eliminating lead in Scott County.