Lead Poisoning in Children

Lead poisoning, a stubborn nemesis, By Mireya Navarro, April 21, 2010, New York Times: “Nothing prepared Veronica Rodriguez for the call she got from a New York City health official last October. A blood sample taken from her 2 1/2-year-old son, Carlos Espinoza, had revealed more than double the level of lead that the federal government considers cause for concern about poisoning. ‘I was horrified,’ said Ms. Rodriguez, 26, who lives on Staten Island and vaguely recalls having heard routine prevention messages about the dangers of lead in the home. ‘I thought, oh my God, my boy is very sick.’ Lead poisoning among young children, which can cause learning and behavior problems, has decreased so sharply in recent decades that it is tempting to consider it a problem of the past. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was so confident about the decline in childhood lead poisoning that it set a goal of 2010 for eliminating it. But federal health officials now say eradication may still be years away because hazards remain in often poor urban pockets – mostly from old, badly maintained housing with lead-based paint…”

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