Complaint-based lead-poisoning prevention programs are a serious problem because they put the burden on the tenant to report hazardous conditions. This system wrongly assumes that: tenants know the risks of lead and how to identify lead hazards, tenants know to whom they should report unsafe conditions, and there are no risks to the tenants for […]
Category: Lead Issues
Why is it a problem to only address lead hazards in the home after children test positive for lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning damage is irreversible. Even after lead threats are moved and a child’s blood lead levels return to normal, children can experience life-long debilitating harm from lead exposure including both acute and chronic health conditions. In Flint, Michigan, where all the children were exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water, 28% […]
Why is it a problem when communities are not regularly testing all children for elevated blood lead levels?
In most states around the country, regular blood-lead testing for toddlers–the age when children are most susceptible to lead poisoning because their brains are developing quickly, they are mobile enough to crawl or walk, and they tend to put everything in their mouths–is not mandatory. New York state requires mandatory blood lead testing twice before […]
Why is it a problem to adopt a lead poisoning prevention program without meaningful input by all stakeholders?
Lead poisoning prevention programs can affect many stakeholders, either by putting burdens on them or providing benefits to them or in changing how or what they do in their jobs. Developing and implementing local lead poisoning prevention policy without meaningful stakeholder input can lead to unintended consequences, including: Landlords suing to challenge a proactive […]
Why is the lack of political will to make change a problem?
While community education and outreach by lead poisoning prevention advocates is an important aspect of reducing lead poisoning in a community, the most effective primary prevention measures for lead poisoning require some type of government action. If the key government decision-makers are not politically motivated to adopt primary prevention measures, a community will not be […]
Why is low parental awareness of lead poisoning risk a problem?
Media coverage of childhood lead poisoning often includes a parent sharing the sentiment, “I had no idea my home could poison my child.” There are several things a caregiver can do within a home to reduce a child’s risk of lead exposure, including cleaning practices and frequent hand-washing. In communities that rely on tenant complaints […]
Why may it be a problem to limit lead poisoning protections to housing where children 6 years old or younger will live?
Some communities design lead prevention programs that establish protections that apply to housing only if a child 6 years old or younger will be living on the premises. (Massachusetts’ lead law requires the removal or covering of lead paint only in homes built before 1978 where children under 6 live. Philadelphia recently changed its lead […]
What is it a problem to fail to replace drinking water lead lines or only replacing them partially?
Lead service lines–pipes that carry drinking water to your home–can be a significant source of lead when the pipes become corroded. A lead in water crisis in Newark, New Jersey has spurred the city to embark on a $120 million plan to replace lead pipes. How does water typically get to homes? The local […]
What’s the problem with inadequate information on rental housing and potential contamination hotspots?
Without complete, accurate information about the housing stock and which properties are rentals, city inspectors will struggle to identify which are subject to inspection requirements. Some places that have rental registries have low compliance. For example, when Detroit’s rental registry requirement went into effect, only 2,000 of 152,000 units were registered. After Detroit launched a […]
Why is poor enforcement or implementation of lead poisoning prevention laws a problem?
Communities with protective lead poisoning prevention policies will not see improvement in lead poisoning rates if the laws “on the books” are not enforced. Lack of enforcement can be particularly frustrating for lead poisoning prevention advocates because the mechanisms to address the problem seem to be in place, but the policies are not working. […]
How can my state adopt a Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program?
States must petition EPA to formally take charge of implementing the Renovation, Repair and Painting program within their state. EPA put together a guidance document for states who want to implement their own Renovation, Repair and Painting Program: The state petitions the EPA Administrator The Program Certification Method Your state submits to EPA a certification […]