The lead water crisis in Flint, Mich., has made cities across the country look into the lead poisoning concerns in their own backyards. One of the ways that people can be exposed to lead is through lead paint which are found in old homes that haven’t been updated since lead paint was banned in 1978. Higher levels of lead paint exposure are found in homes in located in mostly low-income areas. This is often do to low-income residents not being able to afford the cost required to remove the lead paint. Yet, technology to remove lead paint has existed for decades, but the Housing and Urban Development funds for this endeavor have declined over the last few years.
Wisconsin Public Radio speaks with David Jacobs, chief scientists at the National Center for Healthy Housing, about the epidemic of lead poisoning in America’s homes and how cities across the country are working to fix this problem.
However, one of the biggest issues that face cities is that officials just don’t know how prevalent lead exposure is across America. “The funding for Center and Disease Control has been slashed in recent years making it far more difficult for them to properly do their surveillance activities. So you're right, we don’t have a great estimate of the actual number of children who are exposed," said Jacobs.