Claim: Unsafe levels of lead still found in California youths

“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.

Read the entire report.

Love, not lead is all around us.

5 thoughts on “Claim: Unsafe levels of lead still found in California youths”

  1. Popycock! With over 52 years of almost daily exposure in electronic equipment and no problems someone is crying wolf. Just like the Mercury scare and the DDT lies.

  2. Just more proof that journalists are math challenged.
    From the figures cited in the article and the graphics, children that exceeded recommended levels dropped by about a third in three short years. The percentage that qualified for assistance was only about 9%. Obviously more government money is needed and lets lower the “max allowed” standard to justify it.

  3. This draws attention away from the real lead poisoning, the drug and gang culture that they woukld rather not deal with..

  4. What I’d like an explanation for is how a child gets this level of lead in their system from “two windows and a door”? Let’s be honest, if these people were paying any attention at all to their child, she wouldn’t have eaten several linear feet of paint off the window frames and the door. I live in a much newer house, with no lead on the windows, and I don’t let the two grandchildren who live with me chew the window frames. This isn’t a “lead” problem, this is a child neglect, possibly abuse, problem. Maybe the State should be looking seriously at taking the children out of the home until the parents learn to raise them.

    Oh, wait. Personal responsibility is not something that the State of Kalifornika cares about. After all, anyone can breed, not everyone can parent. That should have been the primary focus of this “article”.

  5. The problem is that few can understand the sensitivity of equipment that detects lead. A local school had a lead free water supply, but detected lead in the water coming out faucets in his school. ALL of the plumbing in the school was replaced. A fresh test still showed lead in the water. The reason was that values were made from brass. Can you imagine that water flowing through the brass valves picked up detectible lead. Worry about lead is absurd. If it was a problem then why did we need “no child left behind” when lead levels dropped so much?

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