Childhood lead poisoning is a problem requiring interdisciplinary attention from toxicology, public health, social sciences, environmental law, and policy. In the U.S., Mississippi was ranked as one of the worst states for lead poisoning with limited childhood screening measures. We conducted community-engaged research by working with leaders in the largely rural Mississippi Delta region from 2016-2019 to collect household water samples and questionnaires and involve their communities in lead poisoning risk awareness and outreach. Drinking water from 213 homes was collected and analyzed for pH and lead concentrations. Highest lead concentrations were from households served by private wells, and detectable concentrations at or above 0.09 ppb were found in 66.2 percent of all samples. Nine samples exceeded 5 ppb, and these households received certified sink filters. Findings indicated that community-engaged research and outreach could be used to address data gaps relating to lead in drinking water in rural decentralized water systems.

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