“Lead is all around us.”
The Los Angeles Times fails to distinguish between true lead poisoning and mere exposure to lead:
One-year-old Nelly Gomez refused to eat. Anything she swallowed, she immediately threw up.
Thinking Nelly had indigestion, her parents took her to a nearby clinic in MacArthur Park. A blood test revealed a diagnosis that surprised and worried them: lead poisoning.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said her father, Nelson Gomez, an unemployed construction worker. “As her dad, I felt desperate.”
Despite enormous strides over the last 20 years in protecting children from lead, which can cause irreversible nerve and brain damage, health workers still find unsafe levels in thousands of California youths every year.
Now the number of cases could climb dramatically based on emerging research of the harm associated with low levels of the metal in children’s systems. At the same time, government programs to combat lead poisoning are being slashed.
“Much of the effort that has been put into educating the public, and particularly the communities that are the most vulnerable … will fade because there won’t be enough prevention,” said Hilary Godwin, a professor at UCLA’s School of Public Health who has studied lead poisoning.
The problem remains most persistent in low-income neighborhoods, where families like Nelly’s live in aging apartment buildings with peeling lead paint or other hazards. An inspector found lead on the window frames and a door in the family’s apartment, Gomez said…
“So many products have lead in them,” said Maurice Pantoja, chief environmental health specialist for the county’s lead prevention program. “Lead is all around us”…
No child is harmed by typical exposures to ambient lead in today’s environment.
Love, not lead is all around us.