Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 04/04/2006 - 15:13.

A series of important events, held at the City Club on 05.04.2006, brought to the attention of 100s of community leaders the realities of the "silent epidemic" of lead poisoning in America and NEO today. The highlight was Dr. Lanphear's presentation of important research findings surfacing such shocking insight as:

  • the average I.Q.s of American adults (and you reading this) were most certainly diminished from past lead exposure (especially if you lived in the days of leaded gas)... average I.Q in America is going up, as we eradicate lead
  • 1,000s of NEO children are exposed to hazardous levels of lead in their daily lives today
    • Low income people are most adversely impacted but children in all socio-economic classes are poisoned
    • Often affluent homeowners poison their own families by renovating while living at home, or not properly cleaning after renovations
  • Children pay for lead exposure through diminished productivity throughout life - in very high doses, victims lose their lives (there was a case of this in the past few weeks).
  • Over the past century, American society and government have not addressed lead  effectively, so Americans and our society today must accept responsibilty for the diminished capacities of untold 100,000s of victims and we must pay a $multi-biillion cost for remediation, as well as suffer lead-poison related societal problems like high crime and failing education systems, to say the least.
  • Most tragic, the overall problem was largely avoidable (Europe outlawed lead in the early 1900s), and most individual cases of lead poisoning today are avoidable. If you have or care about kids, you need to read more...

 The day was organized by the Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council (GCLAC) and it started with a medical education program on lead prevention and treatment, attended by around 100 healthcare providers and social workers in the field. The purpose of this accreditied class was to insure our healthcare providers are fully informed on lead issues. I missed the medical education program but will post notes when I get them
With another 100 or so attendees joining this group for lunch and Dr. Lanphear's talk, these events certainly served a valuable community outreach and medical purpose that was very successful. This value was accentuated by the unveiling of designs for a billboard and bus card campaign to spread the word about lead poison near and far - designs shown as posted, above and below.
I doubt anyone attending the lunch forum was prepared for the depth of insight Lanphear shared about the lead issue, and the amount of alarm and outrage justified in response... the most disturbing question pounding in my head since the forum, is "how much different would our lives be if we weren't lead poisoned?"
I'll clean up my notes from the forum asap - for now, I wanted to get  them posted so here are raw notes:

Commissioner Hagan calls lead poison a "Damning indictment of society" - most serious preventable childhood health issue

People who dedicate their lives to making the lives of children better

Yes you are doing very well, but are we doing enough. Several years ago I realized my role as a researcher is to be an initant

With reduction in lead poison other researchers said problem is going away and

Actually, current action level of 10 micrograms per deciliter is too high -

We don't know the mechinism or toxicity - in early brain development the brain develops neurites and lead seems to hinder development of the length of them

We're doing okay - if we were lead exposed how did we do so well - well now that kids are less lead exposed IQs are going up... less lead influenced communities are more successful

Miscarriages go up significantly with lead poison rates - yet 25 is considered an acceptable rate - considering the balance of toxins in pregnant women today it is safe to say balance is not right

With smoking, greatest reductions in birth weight and IQ are related to low levels of exposure - below 5 cigs per day

A dose reponse relationship between lead in bones and self reported delinquent behavoir in children - grounds for an arrest -

Study of prisoners in Cincinnati finds strong relationship between bone lead and number of arrests

Statistical analysis of lead in environment vs. murder rate 21 years later is very powerful

There has been political cooruption of the CDC by the lead industry, which lead to CDC corrupting public health - fact

Key to eradication is not through education but through policy - all reductions have come from major regulatory change like gas and paint - still use kids as canary in mine

As long as we focus on screening kids we are failing - need to focus on primary prevention - need to focus on fixing housing stock

Evidence early intervention for exposed children can help

Prevention is cost-beneficial $40 billion/year in reduced lifetime earning, not to mention crime, tooth decay and other health problem - 90% of children effected by lead are never measured in healthcare system and statistics

Sources of lead for lead increase
Soi 10%
soil ingestion 16
water 20
dist 40

Poisoning is related to mouthing behaboir -

But paint abatement can lead to an increase in blood lead levels because there is creation of more dust

Current regulations on floor dust lead levels are set too high so this is not protective - so 85% of

$5600 to get home to acceptable level - dust wipe test is best prevention

Screening housing units for lead hazards before purchase or occupancy, after renovation and abatement

Sett min lead level at 5 instead of 10 - society can't respond to a threat until is is measured

Q. Political reason why CDC hasn't lowered levels
A. If levels are lowered it will mean more victims - when CDC was corrupt it set these levels, and setting any lower would have huge headcount impact. Most of the time, industry will do anything possible to corrupt process, which is hwy we're in this mess now - lead industry "successes have been in delaying regulation",

Q. How do you increase awareness?
A. there is no funding source - effected are poor and disenfranchised - other victims are children of affluent who did it to themselves - Sheldon Whitehouse did this to his kids and finally spoke up, nad that made the silent epidemic more public - silent epidemic

Q. Would lower action level add more diverse victim base
A. This will demonstrate all of us are effected - note, lead may be risk factor for ADHD

GCLAC response to need for primary prevention - St. Lukes provided resources and motivation for partnership with city and county - HUD, EPA, CDC, ODH - passionate - many City Council members and mayor's staff here today

"ARNING! CONTAINS HARMFUL AMOUNTS OF LEAD - Signs of a lead poinsoned child are not this clear - learn the risks - get kids tested - reduce lead hazards - Lead safe living - 216-263-LEAD

Reaffirm your commitment to ending lead poisoning here - strong network of

You have a kit with info and action items - if you have questions or comments,

LeadBillboardSpanish600.JPG38.71 KB
LeadBusSpanish600.JPG26.6 KB
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Lead-Safe…for Kids’ Sake Grants

I just received a notice about a recognition program for lead eradication programs and I think the GCLAC initiative should rank. Here is an overview of the awards program - see the link at the end for more details...

The United States Conference of Mayors and Dupont -- Lead-Safe…for Kids’
Sake Grants

Cities United for Science Progress (CUSP), a partnership between The
U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Dupont, has announced the
Lead-Safe…for Kids’ Sake grant program. Grants are given to cities that
propose, develop, and implement strategies to reduce lead hazards and
better prevent childhood lead poisoning.

Applicants must be members of the USCM. CUSP will award $175,000 to the
city with the most outstanding lead-safe strategy and $100,000 each to
two finalists. Winners will be recognized at the USCM awards program in
Las Vegas, June 2-6, 2006.

Deadline: April 21, 2006

For complete program information and application guidelines, please
visit http://usmayors.org/cusp/CUSPbrochure06.pdf


lead poisoning protest in China

Eager to follow in the footsteps of the USA, China will see the same story unfold. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090817/wl_afp/healthchinaenvironmentpollut...

Dear Chinese government - please don't waste your children.