Lead Poisoning

Are children suffering because of weak prevention efforts?


Well over a decade after the federal government banned most leaded paint and ordered leaded gasoline phased out, the number of children defined as victims of lead poisoning is actually growing. That's because health officials now know that even low levels of lead can cause serious permanent neurological problems. They also know that particles of lead -- one of the most toxic substances in the environment -- can be found almost anywhere, often spread by tailpipe emissions from cars that used leaded gasoline. Critics of efforts to control lead poisoning say not enough is being done and that children -- particularly minority children living in run-down inner-city housing -- are needlessly suffering from what health officials call the most preventable of all childhood diseases.

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