A case of childhood lead poisoning in Chicago’s public housing highlights the risks inherent in old housing, poorly maintained, with weak enforcement of existing laws and gaps in existing federal regulations.
Thanks to the Chicago Tribune for its series shining a light on childhood lead poisoning. This is one of the few causes of social and learning problems we know how to solve, yet we have not provided adequate resources to get the job done. Countries that banned the sale of paint in the early twentieth century are not facing the same problems.
The Chicago Tribune series on childhood lead poisoning over the summer of 2015 explored the toxic legacy of lead as a factor in urban violence and troubled schools, and what Chicago could be doing to prevent lead poisoning, before it happens.
As news outlets across the country begin to follow the story of lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan as a result of poor decision making and indifference to a poor and minority community, the Columbia Journalism Review profiles how an investigative journalist for the American Civil Liberties Union helped prove Flint was being poisoned with its own water.
The US Appeals Court for the 7th Circuit reinstated Wisconsin lead paint law suit.
A boy who suffered lead poisoning can sue a half-dozen major manufacturers of paint used on the Milwaukee house where he lived, based on a theory approved in a controversial 2005 Wisconsin Supreme Coyrt decision, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed US District Court Judge Rudolph Randa, who in 2010 had thrown the lawsuit out on the grounds that the “risk contribution theory” violated the substantive due process rights of the defendants – the makers of lead carbonate pigment. For more, see here.
“Sometimes we fail to look for causes in conspicuous places. As we seek out reasons why our children are having trouble learning in school, tens of thousands of our kids’ futures are being cut down because, in their younger years, they were exposed to lead. For at least two decades, neurological and epidemiological research has told us that lead affects academic performance, classroom behavior, and the rest of life. We know so much more today from more recent research. Now we know that even low levels of lead can cause serious damage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bleakly states: “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified.” Though lead levels have gone down in our cars, our homes, and our children, lead-based paint and lead-laden dust and soil still surround much of our older housing and neighborhoods, holding back the promise of too many children.”
by Tom Vernon and Shelly Yanoff
posted May 15, 2013, on Philadelphia Public School – The Notebook
See the full article at: http://thenotebook.org/blog/135977/getting-lead-out-and-learning-our-hidden-classroom-epidemic
The American Academy of Pediatrics published a new study on May 13, 2013, with data demonstrating that kindergarten-aged reading readiness is negatively impacted by lead exposure. The study found that even children whose blood lead levels were well below 10mg/dL had low reading readiness upon entry to kindergarten. This data indicates lead exposure may have a larger impact on urban education than previous national estimates suggest. The study advises additional collaboration between public health providers, public education providers, and the community is needed.
For the full article, see http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/05/08/peds.2012-2277.