Lead Poisoning in Los Angeles

L.A.’s Promise Zone

Last week, Los Angeles health officials announced they will be increasing lead poisoning education and testing in the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

Although lead has been banned from paint since 1978 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it is still a major threat to children living in old, neglected buildings. The city has outlined the focus areas to include Hollywood, East Hollywood, Koreatown, Pico Union, and Westlake. These areas are called “LA’s Promise Zone”, as it is one of thirteen impoverished areas chosen by the Obama administration.

This Promise Zone was chosen to receive additional support from federal agencies. The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set aside more than $900,000 in funds for three years of educational programming and community outreach.

“Given the poverty levels and lack of health insurance and the age of housing, there should be higher levels of lead poisoning than are showing up,” said Sally Richman of the City’s Housing and Community Investment Department told the City Council’s Housing Committee. “If there was more rigorous testing of children in the area, (lead poisoning) scores might go up,” Richman said.

Health Effects

Lead exposure in children has been shown to cause developmental and behavioral problems. The University of Cincinnati has recently studied the relationship between lead poisoning and violence. In crime-ridden neighborhoods in Chicago, for example, the University of Cincinnati found more than 80% of the children testing positive for dangerous lead levels.

The link between childhood lead exposure and violent behavior has been established in animal and human research. Small doses of exposure can reduce IQ and hinder brain development. Lead poisoning in children interrupts the production of white matter that transmits signals in the brain. When this interruption occurs, brain development is permanently hindered. This can lead to higher taxes for special education, higher crime rates, and higher drop out rates.

Residential and Commercial

In addition to educating the community residents, the city is adding education to local contractors on ways to minimize dust during renovations. Improper sanding and cutting can create lead pain chips that can easily be left behind for children to find. The dust created from sanding can also travel on the workers’ clothing and settle on furniture or flooring, which can endanger their own families. This debris can also land on soil, surface water, and air ducts, causing poisoning through inhalation.

Lead based paint has been used in residential and commercial properties, so it can be a risk a home or at work. It can be found in windows, doors, siding, and woodwork. In order to keep new tenants informed, the law requires Property Managers and Realtors to disclose the presence of lead if you are selling or leasing an older home or commercial property.

Alliance Environmental Group

Alliance Environmental Group wants to ensure your home is safe for your family and workplace. With 20 years of experience, we are trained to practice proper removal through site decontamination and lawful disposal. As a licensed and certified abatement company, we can ensure a safe removal of the lead based paint. Call (877) 858-6220 for your free estimate.

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