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    Environmental and Injury Epidemiology and Toxicology Unit

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El Paso County, Texas Health Consultations and Educational Materials

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The following Health Consultations were prepared by the Texas Department of State Health Services (formerly Texas Department of Health) and certified by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The files marked below as "PDF" must be viewed/printed using the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader, visit our file viewing information page for download information. For additional assistance please call 512-458-7263.


Analysis of Risk Factors for Childhood Blood Lead Levels, El Paso, Texas 1997-2002, April 20, 2004.

Full Text of Report in PDF
  • Used Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping to bring together information from the Texas Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP), the U.S. Census, the El Paso County appraiser's office, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Statistical Analysis System software was used for all statistical calculations performed in the analyses.
  • Assessed whether a statistical relationship exists between various risk factors and childhood lead poisoning in El Paso, Texas.
  • Concluded that a child's age, the age of the house, poverty, imigration from Mexico since 1990, and distance from the house to the smelter can increase a child's chances for having elevated blood lead.
  • Also concluded that soil lead probably contributes to elevated blood lead levels of children in El Paso.

El Paso Educational Materials, May 2004

El Paso County Metal Survey, Arsenic Soil Clean-up Levels, July 10, 2003.

Full Text of Report in PDF
  • Reviewed Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed soil clean-up levels for arsenic.
  • Considering all pathways of exposure to inorganic arsenic, we would not expect a soil clean-up level of 46 mg/kg to result in adverse non-carcinogenic health effects. Long-term exposures (30 years) associated with the proposed clean-up level of 46 mg/kg of arsenic in soil would result in no apparent increased lifetime risk of developing cancer. The porposed clean-up level of 46 mg/kg for arsenic in soil at this site would be protective of public health.

Tom Lea Park, September 6, 2002

Full Text of Report in PDF
  • Reviewed results of two composite surface soil samples collected in the Tom Lea Park, El Paso.
  • Based on this limited sampling, it is not likely that people frequenting the park would experience adverse health effects associated with the contaminants found in the soil. DSHS concluded that concentrations of lead and arsenic found in the soil do not pose a public health hazard to the potentially exposed populations.

Lydia Patterson School, September 10, 2002

Full Text of Report in PDF
  • Reviewed results of a composite surface soil sample collected in March 2002.
  • Based on limited sampling, DSHS concluded that concentrations of lead and arsenic found at the school do not pose a public health hazard to the children or any of the potentially exposed populations.

El Paso Educational Materials, August 2002

El Paso County Metals Survey, July 11, 2002

Full Text of Report in PDF
  • Reviewed confirmation surface soil samples collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) between February and March 2002.
  • Concluded that the several specific residential yards and one daycare facility contained amounts of lead and arsenic in the soil that would exceed their respective soil-based screening values for children. From the available information, DSHS concluded that exposure to lead and arsenic at some of these sites could pose an unacceptable public health hazard to children. Therefore, some specific locations would be placed under the ATSDR category of "public health hazards".

El Paso Schools, October 12, 2001

Full Text of Report
  • Reviewed confirmation soil samples collected by the U.S. Environmnetal Protection Agency (EPA) between July 30 and August 1, 2001.
  • Concluded that the average amounts of lead and arsenic found in soil at all of the schools did not exceed their respective soil-based screening values for children. Therefore, no adverse health effects are expected.

Arroyo Park, September 21, 2001

Full Text of Report
  • Reviewed confirmation soil samples collected by the EPA on August 2, 2001.
  • Concluded that the amounts of lead and arsenic found in the top 1 inch of soil -- to which people might regularly be exposed -- did not exceed their respective soil-based screening values. Therefore, no adverse health effects are expected.

University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), August 24, 2001

Full Text of Report
  • Reviewed confirmation soil samples.
  • Concluded that although some samples were above soil-based screening levels for children, no clean-up of the soil is recommended, based on: 1) the age of the population attending the school; 2) the unlikelihood that other potentially exposed populations would experience adverse health effects associated with the contaminants found; 3) the levels of lead and arsenic found in soil at the daycare facility were well below screening values for children; and, 4) the presence of grass, which decreases the likelihood of exposure.
  • Recommend appropriate risk communication be provided to interested parties.

Heavy Metals Confirmation Sampling, August 17, 2001

Full Text of Report in PDF
  • Evaluated confirmation soil samples, collected by EPA during July 2001.
  • Concluded that additional soil sampling was warranted at several locations. Secondly, more information is needed about the distribution of the contaminants in the soil to determine the potential public health threat. Finally, air sample results do not indicate a public health hazard.
  • Recommend grid sampling to better characterize contamination. Also, the #60 sieve should be used to provide a more conservative basis for determining public health hazards associated with contaminated soil.

Review of Historical Soil Sampling, July 20, 2001

Full Text of Report in PDF
  • Reviewed historical soil sampling results collected by the Texas Air Control Board in 1989 and by UTEP graduate students in 1993 and 1994.
  • Concluded that, under some exposure scenarios, the lead and arsenic found in the soil could be considered unacceptable. Historical blood lead test results indicate a need for further characterization, including evaluation of the soil.
  • Recommended that confirmation sampling be conducted in areas that have been identified as having elevated levels of lead and arsenic and are known to be frequented by people, particularly children.
Last updated May 07, 2010