Why Lead Poisoning is Still a Crisis in 2017

A Reuters examination of lead testing results across the country found almost 3,000 areas with poisoning rates far higher than in tainted Flint, Michigan. Yet many of these lead hotspots are receiving little attention or funding.

There are hundreds of thousands of people – including legislators – who wrongly believe lead poisoning is no longer a health crisis. Through the late 1970s and early 1990s, laws were passed to eliminate the use of lead in paint and gasoline. At that time, statistics showed that there was a dramatic decline in lead poisoning in children – a decline thought to finally eliminate lead poisoning. THIS IS THE FURTHEST FROM THE TRUTH!

“Last year, the city of Flint, burst into the world spotlight after its children were exposed to lead in drinking water and some were poisoned. In the year after Flint switched to corrosive river water that leached lead from old pipes, 5 percent of the children screened had high blood levels. Flint is no aberration. In fact, it doesn’t even rank among the most dangerous lead hotspots in America.” 

Today in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 2.5 percent of children under the age of 6 have elevated blood lead levels. “Reuters found 2,606 census tracts, and another 278 zip code areas, with a prevalence of lead poisoning at least twice Flint’s rate.”

Where is the lead coming from? Most often, lead is found in crumbling paint, corrosive pipes, and industrial waste. But lead can also be found in consumer products like lipstick and some cosmetics, older toys, and pottery. Data from 21 states continue to prove that despite broad national progress in lead remediation, lead hazards continue to plague many cities. To make matters worse, there isn’t much federal help available to address the medical, psychological, and behavioral side-effects, while millions of children go untested.

We need to stop lead poisoning in children throughout the U.S. To do so, more funding is needed to abate lead from our schools, playgrounds, daycare centers, rental property, industrial sites, and houses built before 1978. That’s a lot of ground to cover but the resulting health risks are staggering.

This year, we ask President-elect Donald Trump to find the funding to protect our children and neighborhoods.

For the most updated information on lead exposure and contamination come back to www.CLEARCorps.org. We are here to help.