September 15, 2021. Florida Politics. Marco Rubio, Raphael Warnock team up to fight lead poisoning in HUD housing. "U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is reaching across the aisle in his continued effort to improve public housing conditions. The second-term Republican Senator from Florida teamed up on a bipartisan effort that includes Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat from Georgia, to eliminate lead toxins from old housing projects and developments. The two, along with Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty, joined forces on the Keep Children and Families Safe From Lead Hazards Act. That bill would direct the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development to identify and remediate properties where lead paint and pipes are still used. Many Section 8/HUD buildings were built before lead paint was banned in 1978, and Rubio’s office estimates more than 6,300 Florida children are subjected to this contaminant via HUD housing." More here; https://www.news4jax.com/news/politics/2021/09/15/rubio-warnock-co-sponsor-bill-to-force-hud-to-inspect-regularly-for-lead/
September 14, 2021. BuzzFeed News. Carlton Waterhouse Is Fighting For Environmental Justice At The EPA — And Getting Called A “Racist”. "In between the degrees, Waterhouse spent nine years working as an attorney on high-profile pollution enforcement cases for the EPA. He then taught environmental law for over a decade, including recently leading the Howard University Environmental Justice Center. As part of his research, he’s written about lead poisoning in children of color, and about reparations for descendants of enslaved people. It’s the latter that’s recently garnered negative attention."
Startling data. September 27, 2021.Boston Children's Hospital. Lead exposure remains a problem for some children. "Dr. Marissa Hauptman, of the Pediatric Environmental Health Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, partnered with Quest Diagnostics, one of the largest reference clinical laboratories in the U.S., to collect the data. Her findings were published today in JAMA Pediatrics, accompanied by an editorial. Of the 1.1 million U.S. children under age 6 who were tested, half (50.5 percent) had detectable levels of blood lead (1.0 microgram per deciliter or higher). And almost 2 percent had elevated levels considered to be a risk to health (5.0 µg/dL or higher). Both percentages were higher for children who had public insurance, for those living in low-income zip codes, and for those living in homes built before the 1950s, when lead paint was still being used." more here and here and here.
Nice Primer for Parents no matter where you live. September 14, 2021. Milwaukee Neighborhood News. Worried about lead poisoning in Wisconsin? Here’s what you should know.
Sep 27, 2021. WPRI.com. Nirva LaFortune announces run for Providence mayor. "Providence City Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune officially announced her campaign for mayor of Providence in 2022. LaFortune, a Democrat who represents Ward 3 on the City Council, had been fundraising for a potential run for months. 'Our city deserves a leader that will work to create opportunities for every resident,' LaFortune said in a news release. At her campaign announcement at the Southside Cultural Center on Sunday, she spoke about Providence’s older housing stock and a risk of lead poisoning, according to her campaign, which she said she suffered from as a child."
September 29, 2021. Bronx Times. AG’s office finds NYC property firm in violation of city’s lead poisoning law. "A property management firm that manages more than 6,000 apartments in approximately 134 buildings in New York City — a majority of which are located predominantly in low-income communities in the Bronx — is being held accountable for repeatedly violating lead poisoning prevention laws and endangering the lives of their tenants, according to an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office."
September 28, 2021. WESA. Activists say Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority should address concerns about lead, water costs. "Musil and others point to lead testing results from the authority posted online that show an increase in lead levels in recent years (though the amount remains below the allowable level of 15 parts per billion) and the fact that a number of the communities WPJWA serves have high incidences of childhood lead poisoning (though lead pipes are not the only potential source of lead poisoning)."
October 1, 2021. Daily Hampshire Gazette. Holyoke nonprofit’s challenge to lead paint law can proceed in court. "In its lawsuit, the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center argues that the state’s lead law, which was intended to get landlords to gradually delead the state’s housing stock, has resulted in housing discrimination against households with children while resulting in little abatement of lead paint hazards. They have argued that the state’s lead law violates the 1988 federal Fair Housing Act, which outlawed housing discrimination against families with minor children."
October 1, 2021. Sun News. Battery Recycling Plant Exposed Workers to Lead Inhalation. "TAMPA, FL – OSHA safety investigators have found that a Tampa, FL battery recycling facility and smelter failed to make changes that resulted in worker exposure to lead inhalation hazards, despite several warnings. OSHA cited Envirofocus Technologies LLC – operating as Gopher Resource LLC – with a willful violation for exposing workers to inhalation hazards."
August 26, 2021. Planet Detroit. Fewer kids were tested for lead poisoning amid the pandemic. This pop-up clinic aims to change that trend. "Fewer kids were tested for lead poisoning amid the pandemic. This pop-up clinic aims to change that trend. When Alashna Moore took her 4-year-old son Aishani to sign up for preschool at United Children and Family Head Start on Harper in early August, she took advantage of an unexpected opportunity to test him for lead poisoning. A mobile health unit stationed in the parking lot behind the school building was staffed with health care professionals ready to test for lead poisoning and provide other family health services. Moore decided to get her son tested."
Oct 5, 2021. The Journal Times. Kicking the can down the road: Lack of funding leaves lead pipes in the ground and kids at risk. "The City of Racine had just under 11,000 lead pipe service lines delivering water to its nearly 80,000 residents in July, when the city announced it had received a $1.6 million grant through the state’s Safe Drinking Water Loans program. The grant represented the removal of approximately 400 lead pipes delivering water to Racine residents."
October 5, 2021. Scalawag.Mississippi's childhood lead exposure interventions don't do enough for kids. "Though all kids using Medicaid health insurance are supposed to be tested, less than a quarter are annually in Mississippi. It worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic when annual wellness visits and subsequent lead screenings plummeted, while in-home exposures from leaded water and paint spiked for children in older homes due to lockdowns."
October 07, 2021. EIN Presswire. Could Lead Exposure Underlie Your Child’s “ADHD”? Study Says Under the Age of 6, Chances Are 50/50. "The physical effects of lead in the body can cause hyperactive or inattentive behavior that can result in a child being labeled with “ADHD.” Parents should consider asking their physician if the child should be tested for lead exposure. Parents can reduce the levels of lead in a child’s body by finding and fixing lead hazards in the home and by feeding the child food rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C, bringing about corresponding improvement in the child’s physical and mental health. Stimulant drugs typically prescribed for 'ADHD' are the subject of at least 34 drug regulatory agency warnings and 32 research studies showing adverse, even life-threatening effects of the drugs for children under the age of 18. CCHR has long recommended that children experiencing behavioral problems should get a complete physical examination with lab tests and nutritional screening to discover any underlying physical conditions that could be causing the behavior. Half of the youngest U.S. children have detectable levels of lead in their bodies, which can go untreated if behavior problems are only diagnosed as 'ADHD.' The first signs of lead poisoning in children are often subtle neurobehavioral problems that adversely affect classroom behavior and social interaction.” The importance of checking for possible lead exposure in children whose behavior is labeled as 'ADHD' is underscored by a recent report showing that half of U.S. children under the age of 6 were found to have detectable levels of lead in their blood, a condition known to cause hyperactivity and inattentiveness.
October 8, 2021. Gothamist. Newark Nears Finish On Lead Pipe Removal In Record Time. "Newark is close to meeting its goal of replacing every single lead pipe that pumps water into homes in New Jersey's largest city. So far, they've accomplished a record feat: replacing more than 22,000 lead service lines with copper pipes. City officials say all known lead service lines—garden hose-sized pipes that connect underground water mains to homes—have been removed. In the next two weeks, construction crews will double-check to make sure service lines marked as replaced or “not lead” on city records are truly lead-free. They currently have another 1,000 pipes to double-check."
October 7, 2021. Wausau environmental advocate receives 2021 Bill Iwen Award, "A Wausau environmental advocate who serves on the Wausau City Council is one of three people selected to receive the 2021 Bill Iwen Environmental Justice Award, according to a news release from Midwest Environmental Advocates. Tom Kilian of Wausau, Brenda Coley of the Milwaukee Water Commons and Richard Diaz of the Coalition on Lead Emergency (COLE) will be honored Oct. 26 at a virtual event. The Bill Iwen Environmental Justice Award was established in 2019 by Midwest Environmental Advocates, a nonprofit environmental law center, to recognize and honor those who are working to advance environmental justice in Wisconsin."
October 8, 2021. ABC News. Residents in Benton Harbor, Michigan, urged to use only bottled water due to elevated levels of lead. "State health officials released the warning Wednesday for the city of 9,600, located about 100 miles from Chicago."
Sounds like Cleveland? Syracuse testing for lead poisoning plunges. The number of kids in the city being tested has fallen steadily over the last five years.Last year 3,940 Syracuse kids were tested for lead, down from 4,512 in 2019, a 13% decrease, according to the Onondaga County Health Department. Of the 3,940 kids tested, about 355, or 9%, had elevated blood lead levels. Most of the newly poisoned kids live in low-income neighborhoods.
August 6, 2021. NPR. Detroit Once Tried To Privatize Public Health. Now It's Trying To Rebuild. "When politicians shutter a school or close a subway stop, the impacts are immediate and visible, sparking sharp public blowback. But when a health department fires its contact tracers or closes its infectious diseases lab or stops testing children for lead exposure, the impact is more subtle."
August 8, 2021. KTVU.com. New study reveals children near Reid-Hillview airport experience elevated levels of lead poisoning. SAN JOSE, Calif. - Children living near East San Jose's Reid-Hillview Airport are experiencing blood lead levels similar to those of children in Flint, Michigan, during the peak of its water crisis in the previous decade, a new study commissioned by Santa Clara County revealed. Some local leaders and health experts are calling a crisis." . Makes you wonder what's going on around Burke Lakefront and Lake Eerie fish.
Aug 5, 2021.Your Erie. Lead Free Promise Project begins statewide battle against lead poisoning. The fight to end lead poisoning among children in Pennsylvania may happen with the Lead Free Promise Project. Dr. Jeffrey Martin, the chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine, came up with the idea to help health care providers test children’s blood lead levels. 'The purpose of the guide is to really be an easy button for one stop shopping location where providers confronted with a child with blood lead levels can put the pieces in place,' Dr. Martin said. Encouraging to see the medical community trying to solve the child lead testing problem.
August 5th 2021. News Channel 3. Townhall looks to ensure 'Flint Water Crisis' never happens in Kalamazoo. "State, county and city leaders took part in a townhall Thursday to discuss possible lead poisoning in Kalamazoo County. State Rep. Julie Rogers, D-Kalamazoo, said data shows kids in several Kalamazoo neighborhoods may have been exposed to just as much lead as the children in Flint, but instead of water, the lead comes from a completely different source: paint." Good to see elected officials take the lead on lead.
Aug 8, 2021. WVA News. DHHR: Lead paint most common source of lead exposure in children from 2015-2019. "While lead in water can be a source of lead exposure, which is particularly problematic for children and pregnant women, water has not been the most common source of lead exposure in the Mountain State. Physicians will typically perform a check on infant blood lead levels at age 1 or 2 as part of regular “well child checkups,” said Dr. Brittanie West of United Hospital Center Family Medicine in Bridgeport. 'Around here, our standard of practice is to do it for all kids,' she said. 'We might get one or two (lead exposures) a year in the practices that see a lot of kids. It’s not particularly common. After that, once they get a positive level, there’s different recommendations for how high their level is whether or not you treat them or you just observe them and redraw it.' ”
August 8, 2021. Fox43. Hundreds of Pa. schools are finding high levels of lead in their drinking water . "LANCASTER, Pa. — Much of the Commonwealth is considered “at-risk” for lead exposure and some counties in South Central Pennsylvania have some of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning in the state. Lead can be found in lead-based paint—something many older homes have in York and Lancaster counties—and some older school buildings still have lead pipes carrying their water."
August 11, 2021. Boston Globe. No haven at home: Amid the pandemic, childhood lead poisoning rates are rising in R.I. "During the pandemic, home has been a haven, a place to keep family members safe from a highly contagious, potentially deadly virus. But for many children in Rhode Island, home poses a hazard — a place where poisonous lead lines the walls or flows from the faucet. Last year, as families huddled inside during school closures and stay-at-home advisories, the number of children poisoned by lead for the first time rose from 388 to 472, according to state Department of Health data. That 22 percent increase was even more remarkable because it occurred as 17 percent fewer children were being tested. Health experts say the extent of the lead poisoning is likely far greater." More here.
08/11/2021.STL.News. Delucio Charged with Violating Federal Lead Paint Laws "According to court documents, Jeffrey Delucio, 52, of Richmond, was a co-operator of Aluminum Brothers Home Improvements LLC in Richmond. Delucio failed to follow lead-safe work practices while renovating residences in the Richmond area. As a result, lead-based paint chips were scattered throughout the properties and were not cleaned up timely or properly as work was being conducted. One of the residences was inhabited by a child with elevated blood lead levels, which had prompted the renovation work at that property to begin with."
July 19, 2021. Ohio Capital News. Report: 650,000 lead pipes still carry water in Ohio; 2nd most in U.S. "As many as 650,000 lead pipes statewide deliver water to Ohioans, according to a report released last week by the Natural Resources Defense Council. This makes Ohio the second worst state in the nation as measured by the estimated number of lead pipes (technically known as lead-containing service lines) in the water system, behind only Illinois with 730,000."
Lead Safe Housing is an issue in Buffalo's Mayoral Elections this year. July 20, 2021. Buffalo News. Letter: Walton is better qualified to protect Buffalo’s children. "Buffalo is just now beginning to implement a new series of local ordinances designed to keep families with young children from moving into lead contaminated apartments. In the meantime, a few thousand children in our city were needlessly poisoned. India Walton is campaigning on a platform to increase the supply of safe and affordable housing in Buffalo. She worked hard to defeat Brown in the Democratic primary. Let’s send her to City Hall in November and protect the next generation of Buffalo’s children."
In Wisconsin, children can be tested for lead poisoning at health departments and WIC offices. July 19, 2021. Wisconsin Department of Health. Site Visits Highlight Lead Safety Efforts. "Organizations throughout the state will showcase home lead abatement efforts. [ ] A blood-lead test, available at local health departments, WIC agencies, and health care clinics, is recommended for children who may have been exposed to lead paint."
July 21, 2021. Circle of Blue. Some Chicagoans Wary of Lead Pipe Replacement. "Mistrust of the government, fears related to immigration, and unclear messaging make the operation a hard sell in some neighborhoods. [ ] "Just as with public resistance to Covid-19 vaccines, the response to Chicago’s lead pipe replacement project is a story playing out in neighborhoods across the country. Government public interest initiatives, even with the best of intentions and resources, are being curtailed by mistrust."
July 22, 2021. TapInto. New Lead Poisoning Prevention Laws to Require Inspections in Rental Properties, Replacement of Service Lines. "Governor Phil Murphy signed a package of laws on Thursday to address the state's lead exposure and its harmful effects on public health and child development by signing a package of bills aimed protecting New Jersey’s families from lead poisoning. The legislation, which will require regular inspections for, and the remediation of, lead-based paint hazards in residential rental properties and require the inventory, replacement, and financing of lead service lines throughout the state within the next 10 years, will advance New Jersey as a national leader in lead poisoning prevention."
Is it time for an outside audit of the Cleveland Health Department? JULY 24, 2021. US News. Health commissioner calls Milwaukee's lead crisis imperative. "Johnson said the department has hired the Public Health Foundation, which conducted an audit on the lead abatement program last year, to review anywhere from 20% to 50% of the cases in 2020 and 2021 to identify problems. The Public Health Foundation is a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that makes recommendations to public health agencies. Johnson said she wants the foundation to 'literally map out every process in that program and identify where the system has failed families, frankly.' She said her department needs to improve the quality and timeliness of how it reports on homes affected by lead. Johnson also said she wants to work with primary care doctors to better screen children and pregnant women for lead poisoning to avoid hospitalizations."