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Local California University Using Pigeons to Monitor Lead Pollution

Posted on September 7, 2017 in Blog

Local California University Using Pigeons to Monitor Lead PollutionYou know pigeons? Those annoying birds that flock into parks and other common public spaces to scrounge for food? Well it turns out that recently those birds are doing more good than harm, MUCH more good! A recent study by Rebecca Calisi, a faculty member of UC Davis is proving just how useful these pigeons can be.

The original study was based in New York, and tracked the blood of urban pigeons and monitored them for lead and other toxic pollutants. The study came from the thinking that urban pigeons do not travel far, no more than a few blocks in a lifetime, but also breathe the same air and walk the same streets as humans.

These pigeons are used to determine which areas contain high lead contaminates. Even though lead has been banned from paint and gasoline, lead pollution remains a significant problem.   The researchers tracked the lead levels in pigeons and found that zip codes where pigeons found to have high lead levels in their blood, are also zip codes with the highest levels of lead in children.

Encouraged by past results, the UC Davis researcher is expanding the study to look at lead and other pollutants in cities around California. This study can be very beneficial in ensuring the safety of you and your family.

One thing that remains unclear through the studies though, is the source of lead pollution. Lead based paint is often found in older homes and buildings, but pigeons don’t spend their time indoors. The most obvious source would be roadways and construction sites, since pigeons pick up and swallow gravel to help with their digestion. One thing you might not be aware of is that children can also be exposed to these sources of lead by tracking the same residues into the house via regular foot traffic.

How Can Lead Poisoning Affect My Family?

Lead poisoning can affect adults and children differently, but still has negative health implications for humans, no matter the age. In adults, lead exposure can lead to illness during pregnancy, fertility issues in men and women, digestive problems, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, and even concentration or memory issues. For children, the effects can be devastating. Children exposed to lead can develop learning disabilities, lowered IQ, behavioral issues, nervous system damage, language and speech impairment, decreased muscle and bone growth and even kidney damage. Lead exposure no matter how big or small, is nothing that you want to mess with.

If you are worried about lead pollution of any kind, AQHI, Inc can help!

How Can AQHI, Inc Help?

We are a company that specializes in lead-based paint abatement. As an EPA lead-safe firm, we can give you quick and quality service that will help keep your family safe.

How Does Lead Abatement Work?

There are four ways to remove lead from a building

  • Replacement involves removing the paint and substrate and then replacing them.
  • Removal is when the paint and substrate are separated through scraping, abrasives or chemical stripping.
  • Enclosure involves enclosing the painted area with drywall, paneling or some other durable substance.
  • Encapsulation is when the paint is coated or sealed with a durable liquid.

I want AQHI, Inc to Remediate My Home!

If you suspect that you have lead in your home that needs to be remediated, don’t wait to contact us! We can be reached at 800-481-8080 or by emailing