Hurricane Study Unearths Prior Lead Problem in New Orleans

Recent Texas Tech University-led research has discovered high concentrations of lead in the poorest and oldest parts of New Orleans.

The results, one of five pollution studies related to Katrina, were published online a special issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

“Our research to evaluate contaminants in New Orleans was critical to determine if storm surges and flooding altered chemical concentrations or distribution,” said George Cobb, a professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech. “We found that long-term, human-health consequences in New Orleans are difficult to attribute to chemical deposition or redistribution by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. However, lead was found in elevated concentrations, particularly in the most disadvantaged areas of New Orleans.”

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