Measuring the Efficacy of Lead Interventions in Millvale, Pennsylvania

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Daly Trimble


Millvale, Pennsylvania is a lower income borough on the outside of Pittsburgh struggling with the risk of waterborne lead exposure, a problem prevalent throughout Allegheny County.This study surveyed recipients of the free filter pitcher distribution program that occurred over the summer of 2017. Researchers investigated pitcher usage behaviors and reasoning, otherways the recipient households invested to prevent lead exposure, water testing rates, and interest in community programs. Surveys were mailed to 136 household addresses from the distribution list. The response rate was 24.6% (n=32) and represented a population with frequent filter use and interest in town initiatives. Respondents also reported a high rate of purchasing bottled water to substitute for tap. Additional data suggests that residents may be filtering their waterand purchasing bottled water regardless of whether their homes put them at risk for lead exposure or not, indicating a need for more information about the nature of the region’s lead problems. The surveys show that, while the pitchers were a very successful intervention, Millvale would benefit from more organized efforts to spread information, perform lead tests, and offer long-term solutions to its residents.

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Trimble, D. (2018). Measuring the Efficacy of Lead Interventions in Millvale, Pennsylvania. Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning & Community-Based Research, 7, 1–8.
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