In the second installment of our DSSG 2014 videos, we focus on the team that worked last summer with the Chicago Department of Public Health. Fellows Joe Brew, Alex Loewi, Subhabrata Majumdar, and Andrew Reece and mentor Eric Rozier tackled the problem of lead poisoning, a health issue that still affects parts of the city almost 40 years since the ban on lead-based paint. In 2013, it is estimated that almost 9000 children in Chicago had been exposed to levels of lead that the CDC classifies as dangerous, and that most of this exposure happened in the home.
DSSG used blood test results, building records, and census data to build new statistical models that identify homes at a high risk for lead contamination, a predictive tool that will help CDPH more efficiently deploy their home inspectors. The team also constructed models that predict Chicago children’s risk of lead exposure over their lifetimes, enabling more personalized interventions to prevent lead poisoning before it begins. Those projects — and the lessons the team members took away from the summer — are detailed in the video below, which also features Chicago Commissioner of Public Health Bechara Choucair. The video was produced by Scrappers Film Group.