The Omaha Lead site in the city of Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska has been contaminated with lead from air
emissions from lead refining operations and other sources. The site covers about 17,291 acres (about 27 square miles)
where approximately 125,880 residents live, including 14,117 children under 7 years of age (based on 2000 Census data).
The site includes residential properties, childcare facilities, schools, and other properties, childcare facilities,
schools, and other properties. The Omaha Lead site was added to the National Priorities List on April 30, 2003.
A 2005 public health assessment of the site categorizes the site as a public health hazard based on the ongoing
exposures of lead at levels that are known to cause adverse health effects.
July 2005 Cancer Data Review [PDF - 1,014KB]
Ongoing exposure to lead at the OLS puts children 6 and younger living in or near the Omaha Lead Site area
at risk of lead-related health effects; specifically, increased blood lead levels, and learning difficulties
and slightly impaired hearing and growth.
East Omaha residents had a modest increased rate for lung, kidney, and stomach
cancer compared with residents of Douglas County or Nebraska. Bladder and brain cancer rates were not increased,
and there was no consistent increased rate of kidney, cancer. Because of the limitations in the methods of the
data review, these results should be interpreted cautiously. The finding from this analysis are insufficient
to conclude that lead contamination had caused cancer in residents of East Omaha. It is very possible that
the other risk factors of smoking, nutrition, occupation, or exposure to other cancer-causing substances
led to the modest increases in lung and stomach cancer.
May 2005 Public Health Assessment [PDF - 87KB]
The Public health assessment conducted by ATSDR to evaluate the possible public health impacts of
lead oat the Omaha Lead Site. The assessment includes agency findings and recommendations for clean-up
and future lead poisoning prevention.
Lead Health Education Fliers
ATSDR has developed 6 fliers to educate residents about health hazards associated with exposure to
lead in soil, and from other sources.
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